Say it loud “If I am not a brand, I am running the rat race”
Yes, you are! Don't get annoyed or disappointed when I say this. You are reading this because you want to create a personal branding or you are at some point in being one.
Let me take you through the personal branding bible in brief.
So many people transformed their life through personal branding on the Internet. Can you tell me one name that has a remarkable personal branding and is going to stay for centuries?
If you guessed it, it Mahatma Gandhi (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi). A name that turned into a legacy. There are many other historians, politicians, authors, writers, freedom fighters who got branded. They did it for the masses.
What does Personal Branding Do?
Personal Branding builds a responsible image in society. For retailers, brand image is important to bring people back to their stores.
Personal Branding allows users to take words as ‘recommend to buy'. Personal Brands have a story to tell. They are also human. They are loud and authentic.
Branding for making a difference
On the internet! Yes and No. Brands are everywhere. There are so many personal brands around us. Ever seen people wearing a differentiative dressing style. You can find them in the crowd. They have a wardrobe of clothing and styling wear that builds their image.
We all have been a teenager and found the our body image is either appealing or not appealing.
But today there are image consultants who tell you which is your body type out of the 54 body types. It helps you to discover what kind of clothing goes well with your personality and what will make you look good.
Your personal brand is your legacy and reputation. Living authentic means changing your brand as you age. You become memorable to others. Others recall your actions, your expertise, and the emotional connections that you make. Your experiences aren’t static and nor should your brand be.
Have you ever met someone who is an acquaintance and they recollect you very well? And you are like ‘I don't recollect his name'.Yes, I know! it has happened to me many times. At times your talk and walk have created an image for others to remember.
Where do I start?
It starts with you. Yes You! You have to build yourself to become a brand.
“Think Global, Act Local” – Paul McCartney
Creating a personal brand can be daunting and you have to prepare. Internet and Social Media are tools to create a brand. It can help you build faster.
Guess who will build your brand! You are the brand ambassador of your experiences. You know your stories, limitations your vulnerabilities, and your strengths. How can someone else tell your story better than you?
Here are some points to consider building your brand;
Around this time, people are running a rat race. And focussing on what you want to build is difficult. Think, Think & Think!
What do you want to achieve? What are you good at? Is your current life giving you the space to create better? What are your options? If I have to live this life one more time, how would I live it?
Many people are on the crossroads of starting, building and changing their careers. There are millions of people like you and where do you stand? Are you recognizable?
Remember when we were in school, the first rank holder in the class had lots of benefits. Other students in the class envy him for obvious reasons.
I have been an average student and I accepted it. But I am always curious. I have lot of things to achieve. My bucket is always full. And I don't do this for money.
I have reduced my bucket list so that I can focus on three things; three things that are necessary for your life.1. Passion2. Money3. Learning
We don't need anything more.
A niche is a specific area of life or in marketing terms, an area of expertise the market requires, but has none. Everyone has a niche. Something you had practiced for your life till now. And you are damn good at it.
Read about the niche I will share in my next story.
I told you three things necessary for your life. Passion, Money and Learning. If all three converge into one, you will find more time and tranquility.
We hear stories of trial and betrayal. Around us the media spreads only the negatives. With social media growing, the media has lost its focus.
Be genuine. You cannot build a brand with negativity around you.
Say what you do, do what you say
Brands are build with authentic people. You may find flaws everywhere. There would be some with you too. But be genuine at heart and build a culture of giving more. What you give comes back in multiples.
Tell a story.
I know your story has lots of ups and downs. But everyone has ups and downs. It's Ok. But once you tell your story, others can relate to your story. Your story will build similarities and liking for you.
You look different at the outside and inside. People feel I am very strong and serious. They are polite and well behaved to me. And the people who know me in and out, know how funny and naughty I am. People who know me, like to tell their stories to me. They find their inner vulnerabilities when they talk to me. Find yours.
You are already running a rat race. Why don't run for your self? Be consistent in telling your stories, helping others in finding their vulnerabilities. You will find yours too.
You have to show consistency across your communication, gravitas, and appearance. Don’t underestimate how tiny inconsistencies can derail personal brand effectiveness.
Be ready to fail.
It's ok to fail. And we all fail in many things. But that doesn't stop us from getting ahead in life. It's ok if you want to take rest, but get back and show your vigor in making yourself an example.
It’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young. I learned a lot from that. Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. And what can happen is never as frightening as not trying at all.
Create a positive impact.
Remember you are the brand. You got to find time for your priorities. Yes, your personal priorities, events, guest appearances, authority building. And everything that impacts you as a brand.
Help others around you to grow and help them nurture as you grow.
Follow a successful example.
You don't have to listen to what others opine. It's none of your business. Do what you feel right for you. Even if you fail, you learn. People may laugh at you. But I am damn sure, you will find a better equation for your life.
Help others to make better decisions. Delegate, be a leader. Teach others how to do. People follow you when you teach. There can be some thief in the boat. But not all are thieves. Don't mind what others can steal from you. They can't be you.
Live your brand
People say live your brand, don't make your personal life your brand. It means you got to define, what is personal for you and others. You got to display everything that portrays as a brand image of you to others. But at times of personal life, family time, keep things simple and personal.
Let other people tell your story.
The best PR is word of mouth. Let other people talk about you. Let people imitate you. Let them try to do what you do. They may fail and it's ok. It's your niche that you had practiced for your lifetime.
They can imitate it but cannot be successful. Build your audience as you grow. People will ask you ‘how'. You can tell them to create theirs. By this time you are a brand.
Leave a legacy.
A lot of people live a life of wandering generality. Don't be among them. The wanderers live their life doing the rat race, and at the end regret not been able to do they should have done. They long for one more opportunity to recreate their life. But life has always been there for them to create, and they ignored it.
Live a life that makes you an example of who you are. It can be tough, but there will be no regrets at the end.
To leave a life of legacy, start with the end in your mind. With this, I leave for now and will be coming up with a series of articles for personal branding. So till then, stay tuned….. and all the best.