The Personal Brand

Every day when I drop off my child at school I read her a few books before I leave. Usually  few other children gather around as I read.  One day I had the largest audience, about 10 children.  I used all different kinds of voices I knew and held their attention throughout my reading. Then I decided to try something different, I told them that instead of reading another book I would tell them a story, something I had read from a library book about a man, a tiger and a fox. Five seconds into the story my audience vanished, only my own child stayed with me.

I realized that my customers, yes the children who were listening to my readings are my customers, had defined me and categorized me as a reader, someone who can verbally reproduce published works of others. They did not trust me, yet,  to produce something interesting without the help of books. My brand as a story reader did not extend to that of a story-teller.

That is a realization that I did not control my brand, my listeners  did. That is because I had not actively managed it when I started reading stories. If I had wanted to be seen as more than a story reader, to be an entertainer (my brand vision) I should have approached this more strategically. Immersed in reading stories,  I had allowed my brand to be defined for me.

Every opportunity you have to interact is an opportunity to build your brand based on your brand vision. Now that is power of personal brand management, be it reading stories to school children or working in an enterprise.

Are you actively managing your brand? If not, would you accept the same if your business’s brands are not actively managed and left to be defined by the market?  Start having a brand vision for your personal brand and build it with every interaction.

One thought on “The Personal Brand

  1. This is a really important point. When creating or establishing your personal brand, don’t pigeon-hole yourself into a brand that doesn’t allow for growth or expansion.

    When I was developing my own brand, I thought about “energizer” being the word that I would use, because I bring a lot of energy to everything I do. However, I also bring a lot of ideas, solutions and more to everything I do, so I realized that “energizer” wasn’t quite enough. I chose “generator” as my personal brand for it encompasses the energy, creativity, relationships and solutions that I generate at work and beyond. “Generator” leaves room for me to grow as my career progresses.

    Obviously, you can change your brand at your discretion, but your previous brand will follow you wherever you go for a long time, so start off with one that will compliment your future changes and adjustments.

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