Personal Brand, Online & Off.

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The other day, I went to a really great skill pill workshop presented by Jane K. Gelder (@janekgelder) who is a stylist at David Jones. She talked about the importance of personal branding and chunked it down nicely into a few easy to digest steps for face to face success. She explained the term Personal Brand as:

“Your personal brand is how others perceive you, what you are famous for (what you are really good at!), your unique value and strengths (even if you’re an all rounder… work out your passion!), your unique value, your strengths, your reputation.”

So how do you ‘build’ a personal brand? More importantly in my opinion, how do you ‘build’ an authentic and consistent picture that represents the authentic you?

I went researching and found some other great information about this concept of the personal brand. Like this article by Valerie Khoo – a nice one around how to build your personal brand through networking.

Or this one by Joey Webber – a nice easy 6 steps to creating a personal brand.

And this one, a Grande Guide to Personal Branding.

Hang on though, this is all really good information…. but how the HELL do you know what your ‘personal brand’ should be? It all seems a little over the top doesn’t it? A little fake? I’m not a brand, I’m a person! Well it doesn’t have to be fake or weird, before you get started think about this…

Are you a kind & generous person who does things for others? Do others say that about you? Or do they whisper behind your back that you are selfish and frugal?

Jeff Bezos of Amazon says that “Your Personal Brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room….”

This is something that I know everyone is slightly interested in. What do people say about you when you’re not in the room? How do you want people to remember you? What do you want them to say about you? Surely you have thought about that before.

Now is your chance to stop living life by accident and start being the person that you want to be.

Fellow Blogger; Scott Scanlon can help you define the core of who you are to create the core of your personal brand.

This is the essence of you. What you are, your values, you personal mission from the inside out.

He recommends that you Define the core of your personal brand (part 1), then you can create your personal brand story.

For the more visual/time poor – I recommend that you watch some of Dan Schawbel’s mini videos about personal branding. (I like the stat, 92% of toddlers in the USA have an online presence and if you have an online presence, you HAVE to manage it!!!).

Once you have the whole core/life authentic you brand part sorted… it is time, as Dan Schawbel says, to jump online and manage your online presence. Chris Anderson of Wired magazine says, “Your Personal Brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is.” Easy way to start here, type in your name (yep, on the internet machine in google) and see what comes up…I did it :) I won’t lie to you, I do it often… There are a few Sarah Nally’s out there, most of the first page of google is me (it used to be a food science expert from Ireland until I took control of my online presence!).

So now it is your turn…. first comes the actual personality (find your core, refine your goals, walk the talk)… then comes the online branding part – but remember you can’t just make stuff up and put it online, like “Sarah Nally, Online and Personal Branding Expert, best selling author” – well, ok, you can put that… but that isn’t what online personal branding and managing your online presence is about. It isn’t about making stuff up!

What it is about… is showcasing (consistently) your strengths, capabilities and interests, so that people can give people an insight into the type of person you are…. for some tips about the online piece, try personal branding 101 (online). I personally love the complete control option – try flavor.me! http://sarahnally.me/ – my online presence on a page :)

Some final food for thought, Erik Deckers sums it up nicely…like it or loathe it people, your brand – your reputation, is what people say about you, the word brand evokes an emotional response from some…but a brand at the end of the day is: “Basically, what other people feel, and how they react, when they hear your name and see your face is your personal brand. Does your face make people happy? Or does the mere mention of your name make people make gagging noises? That’s their emotional response, which makes it your personal brand. (Again, we can still call it your reputation.)” – it’s called “Personal Branding” – get over it.

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