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Personal brand - is it an outdated idea?


The term personal brand has been knocking around for several decades. I have to admit it’s not personally one I like but I think the idea behind it is still extremely important and frequently individuals don’t make enough time to consider theirs. This is particularly the case in the financial and professional services industries where knowledge and technical expertise are frequently the sole focus. However, to become more senior and once you are more senior a broader range of skills is required, personal brand is the beginning.

A positively memorable personal brand also is more relevant than ever in the noise of today’s society and the working environments we are all in.

So what is a personal brand?

Essentially, a it is all about what people remember about you and what they associate with you, both when they meet you for the first time and on-going.

Why does it matter?

We all meet so many people, differentiation and being remembered is increasingly difficult at work.

If you work for a large corporate for example, there will be people you work with every day and they can’t help but remember you. However what about those who you encounter less frequently but who are in fact important to know and be known by? It is the combination of a strong personal brand and people experiencing that brand on a regular basis that will facilitate your career, both internally and externally.

Think about goods and services that you see adverts for, you are more likely to purchase a product that has had a positive impact on you from what you have seen or experienced and that you are reminded about at a time when you need it. Likewise people are more likely to think of you at a relevant moment e.g. to be selected for a specific project, promoted, invited to speak at an event or asked to apply for a role in a new organisation, if you are positively memorable.

You may have read my previous blogs about PIE theory. In brief, this theory says that to maximise career success, performance counts for 10%, image 30% and exposure 60%. Personal brand of course fits within the image element primarily – when people think of you what do they think about you? Therefore you need to have a strong and clear personal brand and then make sure you get yourself known in a work context (exposure).

Top 5 things to remember about a personal brand

  1. It needs to be consistent - people need to know what to expect of you when they encounter you each time. There are two time elements to consider - the first time they meet you and ongoing. Read more about this.

  2. It needs to be authentic to who you are. If you are trying to be someone you are not this is going to come across oddly and will drain your energy. Think about your personal brand as being the best version of you that you can be.

  3. You need to think about where people will encounter you and your personal brand at those ‘touchpoints’. Face-to-face in the office and in meetings are obvious ones, but what about when communicating virtually, on your LinkedIn profile or at external networking events? What else is on the internet about you that could affect your personal brand?

  4. Small moments matter too. People often only think about how they really come across in the big presentation or the important meeting. However, the everyday office interactions, both internally and externally, have an enormous impact.

  5. Your personal brand will be demonstrated through your behaviours and actions, utilising the core ‘tools’ of your appearance, body language and voice. Thinking about how you use these ‘tools’ to communicate and reinforce your personal brand is essential.

Read more about getting started on defining your personal brand.

"I immensely enjoyed the sessions, and would thoroughly recommend Joanna if anyone would like to develop or improve on building key relationships or on personal brand and impact."

If you would like to work on your personal brand to communicate yourself more strongly and consistently to achieve greater career success, then contact me for a no obligation 30 minute Career Booster conversation.