Everyone has a brand.
Your postal carrier, your boss, your friends, the server at your favorite restaurant, your favorite athlete, your local government representative and your kids. They all have brands. It’s what comes to mind when you think of them. They may not be actively cultivating them, but trust us, they all have one.
Here are four important facts about YOUR personal brand:
1. You are in charge of your brand. Not your boss, your company, your significant other nor anyone else. You! You are the only person who represents your brand every time you speak and every time you meet someone new. Don’t let anyone else be in control of your brand but you.
2. Your brand is not your career. You don’t belong to one job, one company or one industry for life. We were all people before we started working and will continue to be upon retirement. Work can consume a lot of our time and interests, but it’s not all we are. Don’t limit the power of your personal brand by considering only your job skills or current role.
3. Having a brand doesn’t mean you are fake. Personal brands can be stigmatized as tools of an inauthentic person, as if being conscious of how you represent yourself is a bad thing. As we discussed earlier, if your brand is genuine, there’s nothing fake about having one at all.
4. The best brands are sticky. Athletes, politicians and celebrities have it easier than most because we usually have strong opinions about them that come to mind as soon as we hear their names. You can create a sticky brand as well by creating an emotional connection with the people you come into contact with.