Staking Your Place- Developing Your Personal Brand

Feel like you are not getting what you need from your relationship development efforts? Most likely you have not fleshed out who you are.

• Who are you?
• What is your brand?

What is it that the world needs to know to engage back with you?

Below is a list of points to keep in mind as you engage the world around you.

Why do you need to develop a personal brand?
People need to know how to engage with you. Your brand will actually precede you in many situations- based on the history of how people have either interacted with you or heard about you.

When people understand who you are and what you stand for, you are able to focus more on reaching your goals.

How do you create your personal brand?
Many people feel this is something beyond their control. They think branding is something for big companies or ad agencies to handle. Or that brands are for companies and their products.

Wrong. Everything has a brand, whether intentional or not.

So how do you go about creating this brand called you?
• by what you do
• by what you profess to believe
• by the company you keep
• by your choices in how you interact with others
• by the causes you promote/support
• by how you carry yourself

Yes, some people go to great length to craft their personal brand. Even going so far as to hire a branding consultant. For most of us this is not an option. So, what do you do? Can you manage your brand alone? Yes. You can.

People will form opinions and assessments by what they see and hear about you. Your brand is something you have the ability to directly affect. Review the list above again. The list is not exhaustive by far. However, it is something you can at least begin to think about.

How does your brand start to look, based on the list above, if you were observing yourself?

Is your personal brand understandable?
This is a critical question. One that many people neglect to ask themselves. Can you describe your personal brand within the next 5 seconds? Ok, so, I put you on the spot. How about the next 20 seconds?

If you are having trouble articulating your personal brand right now, then I can tell you so is everyone else. Well, ok, let me pull back from that. More than likely plenty of people can articulate your brand for you right now. Is their assessment what you would want?

For many of you, the brand your friends would describe for you may be really good. You might be pleasantly surprised. Passive people might be willing to stop here- and that is ok. However, if you want to proactively help shape your brand then do not just stop with being satisfied.

Go forth and proactively take an interest in managing your brand. It’s the one thing you do have the ability to control in your life.

Now that you have your personal brand, what now?
Some people will tell you that this question should have been answered before setting out to define your brand. On the surface they are correct. In order to define your brand you first needed to know what you want it to reflect and enable you to do.

No, the question here is more actionable in nature. Now that you have defined your brand (you will never be done with this part), what are you going to do with it? This is your opportunity to now put your brand to work for you.

As your brand starts to take on a life, now you can start to impact the community around you. Or perhaps use your brand to advance a charitable cause. Have you thought of using your brand to build a leadership role in your industry?

The take away here is that you do have control over your personal brand. Take an active role in shaping how the world will see you, and thus interact with you. Use your brand to help make a difference in your community and the world around you.

Until our paths cross again,


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