Branding is more than just a concept that large organisations should be aware of. We live in a world where at the click of a button, you can find out what people do for a living, for who and (if they?ve thought about this enough) why they do what they do. Now the real question is, what do you want people to say and think of you? Or even better, what is already out there?
Anyone can now develop a finely tuned personal brand and become established in their field of work. This takes time, effort and thought. You have a voice of your own and have an opportunity to contribute as a leader in your field. Your brand is the recipe for your success as it can be the difference between people genuinely remembering who you are. And it is always worth investing the time in developing your brand so that you?re in control of the narrative. So with that in mind, here are a few tips for shaping your personal brand.
Find the right platform
First things first. If you?re going to start working on your personal brand, you need to understand where your ideal audience is to start working on your online presence. Whether that is through a personal website, Twitter, LinkedIn or events, you need to know where these people come together to speak about the things that matter to them. That way, you can be present and start to build relationships with the people who are sharing their opinions and could potentially hold some influence.
Be a valuable source of information
Every piece of content that you share or create serves a purpose. From the articles that you write to the quotes that you post, they should be adding value to the conversation that you are taking part in. Search engines and social media platforms are already full of a never-ending stream of content. The last thing you want to do is just add to the noise!
Practice what you preach
Consistency and authenticity are key with all brands, whether they be people or large organisations. But before you ask anyone else to follow a particular path or take an action, you should be doing so yourself. The purpose of a personal brand is to amplify the values that you stand for and that can only happen when you are matching the expectations that you have set.
Use your voice
Trying to be something that you?re not, or who you think other people want you to be, is a recipe for disaster. But, more often than not, people do this without realizing. You have to uncover what it is that you stand for and that means taking the time to really think it through and asking yourself thought provoking questions. Ask people around you what they hear when you speak ? often they can see elements that you may miss.
Accept and embrace imperfections
Perfect doesn?t exist for a reason. It?s unattainable, unreal and most importantly unrelatable. People are influenced and inspired by the people that they can relate to; the people who they see a piece of themselves in. And that?s why it?s important to show the unpolished side of yourself. The side that makes mistakes, hits road blocks and occasionally feels demotivated. Because that way, you can show that you overcame all of those challenges to get to where you are right now. People like fighters, and your imperfections can prove that you are just that.
The thought of filling yourself up after a long day can be exhausting. That said, I?ve been spending more and more time focusing on the concept of filling myself up so that I can serve better and serve more. Let?s be honest, work can be incredibly draining. The 9:00-5:00 isn?t really only 9-5, and so many workplaces are building in the time for lunch, so you actually work a full 40 hours instead of 37.5 (let?s talk 8:00-5:00 or 9:00-6:00 instead if you get a full hour break midday). For those of us who commute, add an extra 30 minutes to an hour onto each end of that, and it?s no wonder that we?re depleted (sometimes even before the day begins simply at the monumental 11 hours in front of us, and that?s assuming we have no plans or evening meetings after work).
Yes, work can go quickly, particularly when I?m working on a project that is absolutely inspiring me. However, it?s still give give give. So many of us have been taught that we need to put others first, that making/taking time for ourselves is selfish or greedy. Truthfully, taking time for myself is what allows me to have more energy to do better and give more to others. This is where that thought comes in each day: What have I done today to fill my cup so that I am not drained later or tomorrow? Whatever you choose, remember it?s all, completely unapologetically, all about YOU.
I have three things that work for me that might work for you, too.
Do something small for yourself every day. Sure, you spend 24 hours a day with yourself, but did you do anything today to benefit you first? Small can be making tea in the morning or before bed, sitting quietly for 15 minutes as you enjoy it, and making yourself the top priority, or it can be treating yourself to breakfast on the way to work. Figure out what makes you smile and do that thing.
Work it out. I find exercise to be a great way to energize myself while also burning off any negativity I?m carrying. Go to yoga, take a walk at lunch with a coworker, or put on a workout video for 20 minutes at home. More into meditation? That’s great, too! We’re simply glad you’re taking time for you.
Make the whitespace. Say no. We talk a lot about boundary setting here at BizGalz, but I?m going to say it again. It?s. ? Okay. ? To. ? Say. ? No. ? For real. Boundaries are totally acceptable and it?s okay to have some nights in (if that?s your thing, although I know other people fill themselves up by being social butterflies). Be true to you. It?s 100% okay to say no and to keep some unscheduled time for yourself.
Whatever you do, whatever you choose, unapologetically make time for you. How will you fill yourself up today?