Advertising
Advertising

Personal Branding Basics

Personal Branding Basics

20090210-personal-brand

    Personal branding has been very hyped up lately, and for good reason. Many people who feel marginalized by the idea of branding themselves now understand that it is inescapable. We all exist as brands, whether we like it or not. That means you Mr. Postman and you Mr. Lawyer! The first step to branding success is to accept that you’re a brand. Like corporate and product brands, you’re able to use the same marketing strategies to build your brand, get recognized and leverage it to either sell products, get a job or become a celebrity in your niche. There are two main reasons why individuals, like you and me, are labeled as brands.

    Advertising

    Why we have brands

      1. We’re all judged based on impressions. And the first impression usually depicts whether you end up dating a girl or guy or whether you get a job or not. Offline, just about everyone we meet will analyze us and decide whether they want to be friends or not. Sometimes it may be on appearance alone and other times, it could be based on a single conversation. People label us based based on personality, appearance and what we actually do for a living.Online, first impressions work quite differently because our brands are spread out on social networks, blogs and more. The first time someone “meets us” could be after searching for your name on Google or Facebook. Based on the first result for your name on Google, they will make a decision whether they want to talk to you or not. Based on your Facebook picture, you may have another contact or not. In this way, we are attracting and repelling certain types of people, without feeling the pain of rejection (one reason why people like online dating).
      2. We’re all salespeople. People typically don’t purchase product brands that they haven’t heard of. You won’t get opportunities from those who have never heard of your name and in the same respect, you’ll have trouble securing venture capital if you can’t sell your product (and yourself). At work, we have to sell our ideas to our management, in order to take on new projects and prove ourself. Even with our circle of friends, we are forced to influence them to go see a certain movie or grab a bite to eat. We sell everyday, yet most of us don’t look at ourselves in the mirror and say “I’m in sales.”

      What this means for us

      A brand is an opportunity to have meaning in your life and to stand out from everyone else around the world. You, yes you, have unique attributes that no one else has. Some of you have discovered what you’re strengths or talents are, while others have either been afraid to reveal them or are still trying to locate them.

      Advertising

      The idea of “brand you” (i.e. how we market ourselves to others) is a proven way to position yourself in a niche and become known. The benefits are that people will come to you for your expertise, and the jobs will follow. By investing in your personal brand, you’re able to do more, with less, especially using the power of social media, and succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

      Advertising

      Questions you need to ask yourself

      Before embarking on your personal branding journey, here are a few questions that will help you learn more about yourself, what you want to do and steer you on the right path to success:

      1. If you could do one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
      2. What was your favorite class in college?
      3. Who is your rolemodel and what makes him or her so great?
      4. Describe yourself using 5 attributes (ex. intelligent, vocal, brave)?
      5. Name 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses that you have.
      6. How have people labeled me in the past?
      7. Am I passionate about my current job/career path?
      Advertising

      More by this author

      Personal Branding Basics 3 Areas You Must Invest in During an Economic Recession Your Personal Brand is Equal to Your Google Results Command and Control Your Google Results 5 Things to Do Before You Build Your Personal Brand

      Trending in Work

      1 Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart 2 The Lifehack Show Episode 12: Staying On Top of Your Game as an Entrepreneur 3 How to Speak Up at Work Without Being Offensive 4 How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively 5 The Lifehack Show Episode 10: Dealing With Burnt Out Bosses

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on November 19, 2019

      Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

      Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

      I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

      How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

      Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

      So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

      1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

      Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

      For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

      Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

      “When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

      2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

      These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

      This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

      Advertising

      But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

      Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

      For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

      There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

      3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

      It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

      Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

      4. Use Your Phone Wisely

      Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

      If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

      5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

      If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

      In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

      Advertising

      One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

      6. Use a “To Don’t” List

      We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

      But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

      Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

      7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

      When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

      Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

      “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

      And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

      8. Be Concise

      Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

      One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

      Advertising

      Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

      • Making new contacts
      • Talking about yourself at a job interview
      • Meeting people at conferences or parties
      • Phone calls to new clients

      9. Ask the Right Questions

      “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

      How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

      When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

      Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

      Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

      10. Learn as Much as You Can

      You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

      Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

      “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

      11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

      No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

      Advertising

      If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

      What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

      Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

      12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

      As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

      But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

      The Bottom Line

      The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

      Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

      More About Working Smart

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next