I have always been asked, what is the difference between personal image and personal branding? Well, I just have this to say. They are absolutely two different things. However, as an Image Branding Consultant, I work with these two components in tandem, and they usually bring out an amazing outcome.
With that being said, let us explore further on how the game is being ‘played’. First and foremost, an image is what people see of you visually. The way you talk, walk, dress and eat; those sorts of things. On the other hand, personal branding is the depiction of your strengths, passion, values and most definitely skills.
In short, personal branding is the whole representation of yourself, the image included. The verbal and non-verbal communication combined with physical attributes and what you choose to surround yourself with. Projecting the right quality will help you stand out from your competitors and peers.
One thing is for sure, to have a successful personal brand, you need to identify the quality that is authentically you. Have a clear understanding of your goals, your vision, your passion, values and purpose. From time to time, stop and ask yourself if your behaviour is indeed consistent with your values.
It is imperative to know that in order to communicate your values successfully, you need to understand how you are perceived; in fact, that is the essence of personal branding. This enables you to see how you can, with your own personal attributes, manage the perception of others when they view you you. From then onwards, you can work on communicating your unique values.
Personal branding is about developing a particular persona that has been created around your name. This persona can then be used to relay what you communicate, your personality, values and skills.
Being unique stands you out and draw people to you; being a brand is a possibility for everyone; it should represent who you are and what you have to offer. In fact, developing your own personal brand should be a necessity to everyone; not only for business people or entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, if you do not build your own personal brand, others will size you up and do it for you. With a good personal brand, you will find it way easier to find jobs of your dreams, get that promotion and even find a life-partner or make lifelong friends.
Listed below are my few favourite pointers when working with new clients.
Firstly, you have to identify the personality traits that make you, uniquely you. If you have no clue, the best way is to ask others; your family, close friends or even colleagues; they will usually be able to tell. Once you have determined that, strengthen and perfect those traits; make them even more you.
Secondly, be yourself; set your own style. Do not attempt to be anyone else; authenticity will shine through while the opposite will make you untrustworthy and fake. Also, in the current digital climate where everything is within the fingertip, it is not enough simply to be a follower; be a setter. Work on your uniqueness and be a standout in that area.
Thirdly, make sure you work on yourself; read and be as knowledgeable as possible in that particular area of your uniqueness; then, impart the knowledge. People love getting tips and ideas, especially from those they look up to.
Next, is the step where you have a clear picture or understanding of both your professional and personal goals. This will help you determine and identify what is important and what is not. Use this as a guideline in both your action and decision-making process. This also will ensure you do not stray and continue to stay on track.
All these pointers will lead to only one thing, which is to identify your emotional appeal. What appeal you have that is obvious to others? What makes people get attracted to you as a brand? Perhaps, it is your ability to be spontaneous or maybe it is your kind words, whenever faced with the situation that needed such action.
Building a personal brand that is genuinely you takes time. Your persona will not be carved in few short days; rather, it will take lots of efforts but it will be well worth it. The need for personal branding will continue to grow, going forward. However once that is established that it yours to keep. It is indeed an important requirement that sets you apart from others. So, go for it; look within and around you; create for yourself something that is only exclusively yours. Make yourself a brand that will be talked about and remembered because that it the only way to attain whatever you have set your mind on.