You may not like to think of yourself as a brand, but you are one. Most people think of you as the X Person or the Y Specialist. If they don’t…well, that’s a problem. If people don’t associate you with something distinct and valuable, then they may not hire or even remember you.
If you want to leave a lasting impression, transmit a clear and specific brand message. People often think of me as the Question Guy–one of the benefits of writing a book (Just Ask Leadership). They also think of me as an Executive Coach and Leadership Development Expert–since I work and write in those areas. These associations are ones I embrace and cultivate.
What is your brand message?
If you don’t have a brand message, start promoting one or two of your strengths, so that you gain traction in others’ minds. They’ll think of you when someone asks, “Do you know anyone who could…?” In doing so, it may seem like you’re limiting your possibilities and not presenting all you have to offer, but, trust me, the alternative is far worse. The more information, interests, and skills you present, the more blurry and forgettable you’ll be. You may blend in, but you won’t stand out.
If you already have a personal brand, but you’re not happy with it, you’ll have to work assiduously to rid yourself of it. I worked in the call center industry for many years, and I’m proud of what I accomplished there, but when I left, I wanted to do and be something new. For that reason, you will rarely see any association between my branding and that industry. I worked hard to own a new and different space in people’s minds.
What space do you want to own?