Do you have a stand-out brand – or are you just a ‘me too’?
by Jennifer Holloway
Do you remember when graduating from university guaranteed you a job?
Or when ‘fitting in’ was the best tactic to get ahead? Or when doing good work was enough to get you recognised? Well, the fact that we’re remembering it, and not experiencing it, shows just how far business has moved on.
Nowadays, there’s so many people, services and products to choose from, if you can’t demonstrate how you’re different you end up becoming a ‘me too’ – and that’s not great for your business or your career. The trouble is, I come across so many people – and in particular, women - who subscribe to the view that standing out from the crowd would be detrimental to their success.
But if you don’t stand out, how can you be memorable?
And if people don’t remember you, how will they consider you for that promotion you’ve been longing for, or that new job offer that would earn you the big bucks, or that contract that would put your business on another level?
Sometimes women’s reticence to promote themselves is grounded in culture ("We’re British – it’s not the done thing"), sometimes in fear ("What if I end up sounding arrogant?") and sometimes in gender programming ("I’m just not good enough to do the job"). However, often it’s a simple lack of confidence that stops women putting themselves in the spotlight.
Confidence comes from knowing yourself, and defining your personal brand is a great way for women (and men for that matter) to do just that. You put down in black and white the positive aspects of who you are and what you do – from your values to your beliefs, reputation to behaviours, skills to image – so that when you’re presented with an opportunity you have everything you need to immediately blow your own trumpet.
You Already Have a Personal Brand
But even if you have yet to define your personal brand, it’s important to realise it already exists...in other people’s minds.
As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon said, "Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room" – and that can have a huge impact on your business and career, sometimes for the better but occasionally for the worse. But if you take the time to define exactly what that brand is and then learn how to promote that to your audiences, you’ll get payback – BIG TIME!
Here are just 10 of the benefits of personal branding:
- Defining your personal brand gives you the confidence to be yourself.
- Being yourself is a lot easier than trying to be someone else.
- By focusing on what’s great you add clarity to your brand.
- You can also pinpoint the thing that really makes you stand out from the crowd.
- Promoting your personal brand helps you sell your benefits to your audiences.
- By selling the benefits people know what they’re buying into.
- Doing this consistently helps people to trust what they’re buying into.
- People like to put things into neat little boxes in their mind, so you give them the box to put you into.
- By having you in a neat box, it’s easier for people to sell you and your benefits to others.
- If you don’t do all of that, you’ll get left behind.
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