Define Your Brand

Branding is a little like Instant Karma. Studies have shown that we can make up to 13 impressions about someone in the first THIRTY SECONDS of meeting them. And most of those impressions are negative.

What is your Brand saying about you?

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Who are you really?

Chances are, you’ve already heard something about Personal Branding. It’s become a bit of a buzzword in every industry, as the need has developed not just to promote your work, but to promote yourself. But what does it mean to have a Personal Brand… and why should you care about yours?

First let’s look at brands in general. A brand is how you identify a product: how it’s packaged, promoted, priced, positioned, and made available to you. As a consumer, you use brands to make decisions all the time, generally about products that are fairly similar.

Think about all of the brands out there for bottled spring water. I mean, come on… water is water! But if you consistently buy one brand of spring water over all of the others—even if the others cost the same as or, especially, LESS THAN the water you favor—it’s because the “brand” of your spring water (the packaging, advertising, and promise of the product) stands for something positive to you.
As busy people, we are faced with literally hundreds—even thousands of decisions every day. Brands help give us the input we need to make those decisions almost without thought.

We make those snap decisions about people, too. When you first meet someone, you form an opinion about him based on how he looks, how he carries himself, and how he speaks. Those aspects are all part of the individual’s Personal Brand and your initial decision about him—also referred to as your “first impression”—is a significant influencer over every subsequent decision you make about this individual. A Personal Brand works that quickly—and that powerfully—for everyone you meet.

Here’s how to get started defining your brand:

  • In the area of your life that you’re most focused on right now, what is your title/role/job description?
  • If I were meeting you for the first time, how would I find you in a crowded room? What would you be doing, what would you look like, how would you be dressed, and to whom would you be speaking?
  • What makes you different from everyone else? What’s “that thing you do” or “that thing you are” that no one else can claim?
  • What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about you professionally? Why do you believe you were you awarded your last promotion/job?

Once you answer these questions, you’re well under way to identifying the keywords that will help you establish your brand!

Want to learn more?