(1 minute read)

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Jeff Bezos

Could you describe yourself in just 3 words?

If so, what is the likelihood of your family, friends, or colleagues – those who mean the most to you – choosing the same 3 words to describe you?

We often let our personal brand develop on its own – almost by default – with little consideration to the design of ‘us’. This ignores the fact that much of our personal and professional success is dependant upon others recognising and acknowledging our contributions or value.

Whether applying for a new job or crafting your online persona, you’ll be required to provide or describe your attributes – i.e., the value you will bring to a relationship or partnership.

Jill Avery, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, reminds us that; “Personal branding is an intentional, strategic practise in which you define and express your own value proposition.” In other words, what can/do you bring to the table? Why choose you over another candidate?

3-steps toward developing your personal brand.

  1. Clarify your purpose. (The Why) Consider what difference you could make and how, or where, you can contribute.
  2. Perform a mini-gap analysis. (The What) How would you like to be known, and what dints-in-the-universe would you like to make? How far are you from achieving these?
  3. Strive to align your thoughts and actions with values and beliefs. (The How) Make course corrections that will allow you to live closer to your brand, with fewer anomalies (which lead to confusion for yourself and others).

And finally, in a world where so many things can appear out of our direct control, your personal brand is clearly more within your ‘circle of influence’. Consider calling upon your circle of critical friends to identify whether the image/persona you present externally aligns with what you are trying to be.


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