The Art of Self Branding, 10 tips
I’ve written some posts about self-branding so far. But it was time since I last wrote one. Therefore, I must write again about this topic, relating it to every personal self-identity.
Most people associate marketing as something bad or negative. As if it were a person, that follows us everywhere harassing us to buy more and more products of which 90% will not be used more than once, at least. I just made that percentage up, but you get the point.
However, I am afraid that marketing is everywhere. Who am I to say that. I am going to do a masters in Marketing next September. Maybe I make this justification in my head solely because I’ll focus my studies in Marketing. I need to be passionate about it, right?
Marketing is the core essence of something. The aesthetics that makes that thing stand out from the rest. Someone is going to be looking for that essence, and that something will be able to give it to him/her.
The same happens with people. Our names (real or artistic ones) are our branding. Our image. Our marketing. We must explore this potential and communicate it. Shamelessly ;)
Self branding, therefore, is more than our own image and identity. It is everything that will allow you differentiating and position yourself through communication, networking, presence and visibility.
Thanks to this attitude, you can even create your own professional career (and personal) in which you feel passionate about. Because staying true to yourself and communicating what you are, will get you to that goal that truly matters to you. And live your life at your fullest potential.
Isn’t that wonderful? We have in our hands the capacity to make of our lives a happy one. Or an interesting one, depending on what you are looking for ;)
Although things are going pretty fine for you, external conditions can drastically change. The environment can become obscure. You must have the control of your destiny, because you never know when will your next failure be. Or when the next recession will happen.
When you think about yourself as a brand, your objective it’s not only to thrive. It is also to survive, just like companies are meant to survive.
During your self branding construction, it is OK to be modest. That’s a virtue. But do not take it too far: underestimating yourself can hurt your potential, depriving the whole world what we are capable of making. So leave modesty aside, and communicate your brand.
Stop worrying about what will other people think. Everyday we are judged by hundreds of people, known or unknown. According to a vegan activist in an interview, Gary Yourofsky, there are two types of people: those who admit judging others and those who are doing it, but deny doing it. That said: it’s smarter to admit beforehand that it is inevitable to judge or being judged.
So don’t worry too much about snap judgements. And if you want to read more about this topic, make sure you check out Malcolm’s Gladwell book, Blink. But above all, remember that you’ll never get everyone to like you. That’s impossible. Think and care about those who do like you.
As a summary, the 10 actions to take into account for a good self branding are the following:
1. Celebrate your singularity and conduct a self-branding auditing. Ask different people how they see you (2 relatives, 2 friends, 2 classmates, 2 professors and 2 co-workers). Compile all the attributes of how do people see you in a list and compare it to the list of your own attributes that you wrote about yourself.
2. Overview control. With these attributes, build a SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. I’m pretty sure you can find a tutorial on how to do a SWOT analysis everywhere ;)
3. Do not avoid competence: put yourself into the same room as your competitors. If you’re the best of your class, change class… because you’re in the wrong one. You must be in a class filled with people who is better than you, so that keeps you motivated to improve and become the greatest version of yourself.
4. Find the sweet spot. That essential spot for your brand. Focus on the right strategy to achieve your objectives. It is usually represented through the following Venn’s diagram:
There are three circles that represent the sweet spot you must find to dedicate your life doing something you love, something you’re good at and something people asks for.
5. Take advantage of the self-introduction power. Learn the principals of verbal identity. And above all, corporal language. This video of Amy Cuddy explains it in a short and wonderful way. Fake it ’till you become it ;)
6. Take advantage of the power of words, and communicate your personal brand through your mantra or your motto. A simple idea that is short and sweet is extremely powerful.
7. Think big: in market terms. Read newspapers daily to let you know the general situation. It’s always helpful for when you could need a back-up plan.
8. Expand your networking and visibility. Let people know you’ve accomplished something. Through the sophisticated and powerful word-of-mouth system, more people will recognize your brand and your identity. Bring your business cards with you everywhere. It’s a perfect and easy detail to hand out people, so that they can remember meeting you.
9. Put in action your personal branding plan. Develop specific techniques and try to implement them as you planned. Draw a schedule with detailed objectives in each challenge you set to yourself.
10. Stay relevant. Measure how are you doing with your work and purposes.
Look yourself at the mirror. That person you see is the only one you can trust. And that it is not sad. It is, in fact, a powerful one ;)
Featured image by the excellent worldwide photojournalist Ingrid Ribas.