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And the final step to creating a successful personal brand is Performance.
You’ve written succinctly your Passion, you’ve written out a Plan and you’ve made a decision to be Persistent in establishing your personal brand. Now it is about putting it all into practice.
Get your name out there, do the ground work, make sure people know what you are passionate about. Make sure people at work notice the excellent work you are doing and the contribution you are making.
At the end of the day all the sitting and thinking is critical to getting it right, but you also need to now get out and follow the plan persistently. Ultimately, how you perform will determine the strength of your personal brand. There are no short-cuts, but by following the previous three steps, you will make it a whole lot easier and more effective for yourself.
The third P when developing a successful personal brand is as the title suggests, is Persistence.
Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day or the brand Coca-Cola, neither will your personal brand be established in your marketplace in a day. You will need to be clear on your passions, clear on your plan and then be persistent in both. As we all know it takes time to build a brand. Large companies might have billions of dollars to throw at a brand. You probably don’t and to be fair, you don’t need to. Your currency is persistence.
What does that look like?
Well, you need to set aside regular time to develop your brand. That means maybe reading, studying, writing, networking. Chalk it into your diary well in advance because the day-to-day activity will fight for your time.
How will you make sure you stay focussed on your end goal? What are you going to use as your motivating factors when the going gets tough?
Consider realistically how long you think it will take for you to fulfil the plans you chalked out in the previous step. That way, you are aware of the amount of commitment required.
Finally think about why you are developing your personal brand and what the consequences of inaction might be. In the words of another famous brand, you know you’re worth it
If you don’t have passion, you’re going to struggle to have followers. People need to know why they are following you and that comes from making sure your passion is clear and evident.
There are few better (or worse) examples of passion creating gravity than Hitler. Watch archive footage and you will see the passion with which he spoke of the Fatherland and his vision for Germany. Sure it was seriously warped and I’m not suggesting you grow a short moustache and shout at the top of your voice at every team meeting. That would be the anti-gravity model!
You do, however, need to consider and write down what makes you passionate. This model can be applied to work and personal life situations.
- What gets you excited, passionate, angry?
- Where do you make the biggest difference in your organisation?
- What are some of the core beliefs that determine your actions?
- What are your personal, team and organisational aspirations?
This is the starting point to creating a strong personal brand. Once you have written some of those answers down, try and summarise in a sentence or two.
Having watched the Gravity Model video, you need to now measure your current gravity. How much pull and influence do you have on your team, your business advocates and in the market.
Here’s a list of questions that will help you gauge your gravity:
- How many of your team can articulate what your are passionate about?
- How many top candidates have approached you to join your team?
- How many times have you been invited to give a talk at a seminar?
- How many people from other areas of your business phone you for your advice?
- How many times have you been suggested as an expert on LinkedIn?
- How many networking events have you been to in the last 6 months?
- How many of your competitors have you met with in the last 6 months?
Whatever your answers to those questions, the truth is that you have gravity, otherwise you wouldn’t be where you are today! The other truth is that you can grow your gravity. It just takes some thought and effort. And the next few posts will help you do just that.
Here is a short video that describes a powerful concept that helps understand what Personal Branding is all about.
In the past we might have considered certain famous people, such as the Beckhams, as a brand. Not many of us ‘normal’ folk have a perfume or clothing range with our name attached. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t a ‘brand’.
But before we delve any further, let’s get one thing straight – a logo is not a brand. I was with the ‘marketing director’ of a design company recently and even he kept using the two terms interchangeably. Wrong.
A logo is a symbol that an organisation uses to make it or a product recognisable. What you think when you see that logo is ‘brand’. For example, the infamous yellow arches over a McDonald’s ‘restaurant’ – same big yellow logo but to a child it might mean a happy meal (in the true sense of the word). To an adult it might mean unhealthy food and lousy service.
The brand perception is entirely different even though the logo is exactly the same.
When it comes to personal branding, your face is your logo. And what people think when they see that logo is your brand.
A company with a clear brand strategy is doing their best to be perceived in a particular and consistent way by all their stakeholders – internal, external and potential customers. It increases their value, ability to influence and protects against competition – all the things that a good personal brand strategy will also do.
In the next post we’ll look at a short video that presents a really useful way to think about personal branding and its benefits.