I went to a personal brand seminar last week and it was very eye opening. I had previously had a very narrow understanding of personal brand. That it was mainly to do with how you look and what you wear, including the colours we wear, what you say and how you say it, posture and your body language. While these things are important and well known, your personal brand extends beyond these obvious points. In addition to the above your personal brand includes the following:
Behaviour and relationships
How you behave is very important to your personal brand. It includes things like words and phrases and gesticulations associated with us. Your behaviour and actions, both verbal and non-verbal, determine whether you are considered polite, introverted or extroverted etc. and contribute to the sense of confidence and/or status we are perceived to have. What we project through our behaviours and actions says alot about our approachability, friendliness or otherwise and whether or not people think they can trust us. Who we associate with and call our friends and relationships and networks we build also says a lot about the type of person we are and our interests, ambitions and hobbies etc.
Places, products and brands
The places we visit and/or talk about and the products and brands we wear, use and/or associate with says alot about us. To drive home the point, the speaker took two brands (one of them was a favourite of mine), and contrasted what they may say about you if you wear them. She talked about suits and what they said about a man. A man in a bespoke suit would be better perceived that one with an off-the-shelf suit. She said something similar for women in skirt suits as opposed to trouser suits (an interesting fact she mentioned was that in the seventies and eighties, women in trousers suits were better perceived and this has reversed of recent).
The speaker said that your personal brand extends to the charities and other organisations you support or associate yourself with. It says a lot about the type of person you are and not just the types of issues that are close to your heart. She used two well-known charity brands to drive home her point.
The beliefs you express, for example, religious, morals and ethics, says a lot about you and what you stand for and live by and how you would be perceived.
The sites you subscribe to and are active on says a lot about you and are part of your personal brand.
Please could I encourage you to think about having a personal brand strategy to harmonise and ensure consistency in how you are being perceived.