Introducing personal branding : ‘your own unique bar code’
Irrespective of age or career stage, nature of business, title or the level of position one holds, the impact one creates with one’s ‘presence’ or ‘personal brand’ should never be underestimated. And in making one’s mark on the world, the level of position that personal branding holds and the value it establishes in turning first impressions into lasting ones reigns supreme.
A personal brand encompasses many varied and different attributes. In essence, it represents the sum total of ‘who you are’ – from your first conscious awareness of your human existence through to your personality, unique skills, qualifications and even the visual impact you create.
In this digital age, your personal brand not only comprises the ‘physical you’ but, also includes your digital footprint across time and space. This reality is further compounded through an AVG study that reveals that even children already possess a digital footprint and that 92% of children under the age of two already have one!
Your very own ‘stamp with your own unique bar code’
Consider your personal brand as your very own ‘stamp with your own unique bar code’ comprising every attribute that you have developed since birth.
When in business, one needs to bear many important factors in mind when it comes to building one’s personal brand. In essence, an effective personal brand needs to encompass those characteristics that will help you to articulate the value that you present to the marketplace in order to stand out amongst the crowd.
For a potential employer, the impact and response one needs to create in order to succeed should be along the lines of not just, “very pleased to meet you.” But, “we can see that you have a really good grasp of our industry and you definitely have the insights and experience that would be perfect for this role.”
Building your own personal brand correctly is important because you have to know and articulate what value you bring to the marketplace to stand out in a sea of other contenders.
Wouldn’t you want a potential employer to say upon meeting you “wow, they understand our industry and have the insight and experience that’s perfect for this role?”
Scanning the bar code reveals the nature of the product called ‘you’
Investing in ‘you’ in the form of a good personal brand is a critical success factor that ensures that when a potential employer meets you for the first time and ‘scans’ ‘your unique bar code’, an overall impression is created that reveals what the nature of the product called ‘you’ has to offer. And you want that product called ‘you’ to bring a good ROI.
However, the real question that needs to be asked is not whether you have a personal brand but whether you choose to cultivate and develop it to your advantage instead of allowing it to be defined or ‘labelled’ on your behalf.
Less than 15% of people have reached the point of having defined their personal brand
Regardless of the importance of our personal brand in being able to accurately represent and portray who we are, according to a survey by Glenn Llopis Group, less than 15% of people have actually reached the point of having defined their personal brand and less than 5% are consistently living their personal brand in the workplace. However, the same study also revealed that when it comes to business professionals, 70% maintain that they have defined their personal brand and 50% believe that they are actually living it.
The unwavering truth remains that establishing a good personal brand is by no means an easy task. Apart from developing a high degree of self-awareness, it also requires that one take action and accountability in accurately and suitably presenting oneself to the world. Ultimately, when scanning your own unique bar code, the most important question that remains is whether it reveals the true nature of the product called ‘you’ that you present to the world. To help get you off to a good start in establishing an effective personal brand, in our next article we focus on analysing the separate as well as the collective components of the bar code of what personal branding entails in ‘getting to know the product called ‘you’.