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Personal Branding: Is That Really You?

In David Avrin’s book he mentioned it is no longer who you know or what you know, it is often about who knows you. With this in mind, many have gone over and beyond to ensure personal and business brand exposure. Unfortunately, too many people and companies do this by stretching the truth. They are not lying but they are not tell you the whole truth.  Hence we get lots of “fake news” or news that are somewhat truth, but not really. 

Think of your last marketing campaign, did you do everything by the book or did you stretch a little to maximise exposure in hope to gain maximum attention.  Same goes for personal branding.

Personal branding is important to every individual regardless of whether you are an employer or an employee. While you need to be seen and heard before anybody is going to notice you let alone trust you.  Trust can only be earned through actions, not just words.  Hence the saying “talk is cheap”. I am certain many of us came across people simply asking us to trust them, just because they said so.  How many of us truly do?

With so much fake news going around in social media, how does one decide what and who to believe. Most importantly what is out there that may falsely represent you and your brand.

What is your personal brand? Do you know how others describe you in one word? Following are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your personal brand is intact.

Step one—Never take everything you hear or see at its face value. Establish a habit to question everything you read/hear. Take time to research especially news and information of interest, news that involved or related to you personally.  Often people trust what they read or hear from third party and immediately think its true and take unnecessary actions.

Step two—Make frequently search of your own name on the Internet and find out what is out there? You will be surprised what you may or may not find.  If nothing comes up, that means you are not doing enough to build your personal brand.  This is especially so if you are a business owner. If people cannot find you, they cannot buy from you.  On the other hand, if something comes up, you want to make sure that every article with your name on it is truthfully published. 

Worst case scenario will be someone using your identity.  This happened to a family member some years back. Many such incidents happen on Facebook and Instagram to name a few.

Step three—Send a short message to all the contacts on your phone and simply ask them to describe you in one word.  And watch their reactions… most will ask if something is wrong.  This simple exercise will help you tremendously in understanding yourself and what actions you need to improve or fix your personal brand.

Bottom-line is not to simply trust. Make an effort to allocate time to truly know who you are, what your personal branding is, and how it is affecting and helping you and people around you.

First published on SIM'sToday's Manager magazine

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