The Rebrand - When your Personal Brand is not working for you
Is this you?
You aren’t heard in meetings.
You have been skipped over for promotions either via title or financially.
You have been branded as sweet, yet you are and want to be known as a decisive decision maker.
You made a HUGE mistake and can’t shake the consequence that happened to your reputation.
You are creative and innovative, but you haven’t shared one new idea in the past year to your colleagues.
You’re up for the next C-Suite role yet the board doesn’t think you’re qualified – or, even worse, they don’t like you. (This happens all the time – I know many brilliant people who never reach the pinnacle goal because of misperceptions about who they really are).
You’re not where you want to be professionally or personally.
You are making mistakes in how you represent who you are, your gifts, talents and value.
We run across this in our personal brand coaching sessions. Most times, you are not perceived properly either because you haven’t established your brand, shown your worth and shared your value…Or something has happened where you have been categorized into a reputation that you can’t seem to change. It’s painful, but it can be changed.
Now is the time for a re-brand…begin quickly and do it intentionally. Here are a few things you can do to begin the process.
DECIDE: What do you want people to say?
She is an innovative health care executive.
His creativity is off the charts.
She will crush opponents in court.
He will lead the company through this financial trial.
You can trust his leadership.
She is an expert in her field.
1. Know your WHY. You will never get to where you want to be if you don’t know your WHY. Your “why” is your purpose in life. How do you start? You do one thing better than anyone else – do you know what it is? Start small and ask yourself, what do you have the potential to do better than anything else or anyone else doing it? Your Personal Brand needs the WHY as a filter and a foundation for all that you do – all your decisions, small to large, run through the filter to ensure you are on the right path. If you are making decisions based upon how you ‘feel’ or what you ‘think’ you want – failure is certain. I’m certain about this advice because it is based upon my experience in working with employee groups at corporations and training/coaching hundreds of individuals –without brand direction for every single decision, failure is certain. The good news is, if you start working on your brand today and how you share it, success is around the bend regardless of your past.
2. ASK. Utilize your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances to understand what people REALLY think about you when they see you, hear you or read something you have written. You want to be viewed as intelligent, excellent and detail-oriented? Do others describe you this way? I understand this part is painful – but no pain, no gain. This step helps you to understand what may be keeping you back. You may have made a mistake in college that is still haunting you – tackle that head on and share what you learned.
3. Create the Narrative. At this point, you know WHO you are and WHERE you are going. You need stories to share about your life, experience, goals and value that wipe away competition and help you to lead the pack. There are ways to create real and authentic stories that will help you to share who you are and show others why all your experiences, good and bad, have added great value to your life and brand. Not everyone needs to hear the same story, but you must be deliberate about what you share, why you are sharing it and cut out the small talk and chatter. Be intentional with every hello, your tone of voice, body language, LinkedIn profile each conversation and more – you get the idea. Nothing is said, sent out or done without your WHY AM I DOING THIS filter and Personal Brand statement.
4. Image. Clothing and image matter. Hundreds of studies back this up – and it isn’t about what you LOOK like or how you were created. It is about being the best you that you were created to be and using your image and fashion to share your value with the people around you. One study with over 300 adults (men and women) showed us that image/fashion matter. The study states, “Respondents looked at images of a man and a woman for just 3 seconds before making 'snap judgements' about them, after respondents were exposed to images for just three seconds, they rated a man wearing a bespoke suit as “more confident, successful, flexible, and a higher earner” than a man in an off-the-rack suit. And the judgements were not about how well dressed he was. They rated him as more confident, successful, flexible and a higher earner in a tailor-made suit than when he wore a high street equivalent.”
Simply stated, your clothing talks. Loudly at times – and it tells people who you are, what you care about and if they should spend time listening to what you have to say. If your office is business casual, then be the best business casual – loose, ill-fitting, faded and tearing Dockers are NOT ok. In fact, try Bonobos pants…they aren’t slacks and they aren’t Dockers – be your best and don’t settle for less. Just because something fits, doesn’t mean it represents your personal brand.
5. Market the Value. You must be intentional about what you share across all platforms and in person. During a re-brand, your goal is to reeducate your brand community – friends, acquaintances, colleagues, family and the stranger at the coffee shop. These are the people who need to know your why, sell you and get behind the real you. After all, your Personal Brand is WHO YOU ARE and a bit of who you want to become…it must be consistent, shared consistently and done in a manner that not only builds you but others as well. (Without doing it in a pushy or cheesy way). Social media, personal hand-written notes, emails, meetings and networking – you must always be in control of your time and your message.
Mila Grigg is a 15 - year brand builder that coaches, teaches and speaks on individual and corporate brand management. MODA Image and Brand Consulting is the premier company in the US providing leadership training, brand consulting, personal brand coaching, employee brand training and image and fashion integration into your professional, professional and company brand. We serve Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, personal service firms, executives, universities and associations across the United States. We do this through training sessions, seminars, events and one-on-one brand coaching services.
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