In life, as in business, branding is more effective, powerful, and sustainable than marketing and sales and an effective way to eliminate your competitors. It’s about influencing others, by creating a brand identity that associates certain perceptions and feelings with that identity. Branding isn’t just for companies anymore. There is a new trend called Personal Branding. Successful Personal Branding entails managing the perceptions effectively and controlling and influencing how others perceive you and think of you.
Everyone has a Personal Brand but most people are not aware of this and do not manage this strategically, consistently, and effectively. You should take control of your brand and the message it sends and affect how others perceive you. This will help you to actively grow and distinguish yourself as an exceptional professional. Most traditional Personal Branding concepts focus mainly on personal marketing, image building, selling, packaging, outward appearances, promoting yourself, and becoming famous, which can turn into an ego trip and let you be perceived as egocentric and selfish. They define Personal Branding from a personal marketing (selling) point of view. Personal Branding is more than just marketing and promoting yourself.
Your Personal Brand should be authentic. Authentic Personal Branding is a journey towards a happier and more successful life. Your Personal Brand should therefore emerge from your search for your identity and meaning in life, and it is about getting very clear on what you want, fixing it in your mind, giving it all your positive energy, doing what you love and develop yourself continuously. Your Personal Brand should always reflect your true character, and should be built on your values, strengths, uniqueness, and genius. If you are branded in this organic, authentic and holistic way your Personal Brand will be strong, clear, complete, and valuable to others. You will also create a life that is fulfilling and you will automatically attract the people and opportunities that are a perfect fit for you. If you are not branded in this unique way, if you don’t deliver according to your brand promise, and if you focus mainly on selling and promoting yourself, you will be perceived egocentric, selfish and a unique jerk, and branding will be cosmetic and a dirty business. Remember (Rampersad, 2008):
no vision, no self-knowledge, no self-learning ,no thinking, no mindset change, no integrity, no happiness, no passion, no sharing, no trust, no love = no Authentic Personal Branding
Love is an important element in this Personal Branding equation. It is about loving yourself (self-love), loving others, and loving what you do. You should love yourself in at least equal measure to others or things. This can be found in most religions: “to love others as you love yourself”. Remember what Abraham Maslow said: “We can only respect others when we respect ourselves. We can only give, when we give to ourselves. We can only love, when we love ourselves”. Without knowing who you are (self-knowledge), it’s very difficult to love yourself and others. You need to make a positive emotional connection with yourself and find yourself interesting first, otherwise others you will not make a positive emotional connection with you and will not find you interesting. With an authentic personal brand, your strongest characteristics, attributes, and values can separate you from the crowd. Without this, you look just like everyone else.
In this article I introduce an organic, holistic and authentic personal branding model which will help you to unlock your potential and build a trusted image of yourself that you want to project in everything you do, which is about your true values, beliefs, dreams, and genius. An effective brand is in harmony with your dreams, life purpose, values, passions, competencies, uniqueness, genius, specializations, characteristics, and things that you love doing. This approach places more emphasis on understanding yourself and the needs of others, meeting those needs while staying true to your values, improving yourself continuously, and realizing growth in life based on this personal branding journey. This should be based on your vision, rather than inventing a brand that you would like to be perceived as and to sell this to others. Remember what Oprah Winfrey said:
Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe. ….Hold the highest vision possible for your life and it can come true …. Go for your highest and greatest vision for your life and align your purpose with the flow of your life. …Follow your passion…Sooner or later, your passion is going to win out and nobody can stop you.
An Authentic Personal Branding Model
Building an authentic Personal Brand is an evolutionary and organic process and a journey towards a successful life. I am including below a holistic blueprint and roadmap to help you formulate and implement an authentic Personal Brand identity. This organic model consists of the following four phases (see Figure 1), which are the building blocks of a strong authentic personal brand………………»
Dr. Hubert Rampersad is president of TPS International (Miami Beach, USA). This article is based on his new book “Effective Personal and Company Brand Management; A New Blueprint for Powerful and Authentic Personal and Company Branding” (Information Age Publishing Inc., 2008, USA). He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.Total-Performance-Scorecard.com