6 Steps for Creating “Brand YOU”

Brand You

Brand You

The single most important thing you can do for yourself for the coming year could be creating “Brand YOU”.

What your brand will do for you

  • Your unique qualities will be recognized by the people who count in your world. Internal, external, professional and personal.
  • You will act authentically in every thing you do. As a leader you will stay true to what you value most.
  • You will always act in a consistent manner. In critical situations you will respond naturally and positively. You will not be at a loss for words. People will know what to expect from you.
  • You will create your legacy.

The Bottom Line

A brand is not only the function something delivers but also the value it conveys. A brand creates a feeling, a perception. If that perception aligns with what a person values then they will believe in that brand. Think of Mercedes, Oprah or Red Bull. They are more than just transportation, a talk show host or a thirst quencher.

You have a choice. Be the brand you chose or accept the ones chosen for you by others. The brands chosen for you may not serve you well.

6 Steps for Creating “Brand YOU”

  1. Identify what you are good at and what you like
    Sometimes we evolve into functions and roles that are not optimizing our strengths. Make a list of the high points of your life. Go back to your childhood and and move forward until today. List the things that you were really good at or really enjoyed doing. What gave you fulfillment? It could be school subjects or projects, sports, arts, helping others, creating something, etc. Put the list away and review it in a day or two. Add to it. Refine it. Do this a few more times. As you read through it, you will notice a pattern of the kinds of things that you are good at, enjoy and fulfill you. Summarize these activities, situations and skills. You may find it interesting the things you have done and the patterns that emerge.

  2. Where are you in the minds of your stakeholders?

    What are you known for? You may be surprised and even shocked at how different your view is from others. Ask your peers, employees, bosses and clients to send you a single sentence that answers the question. “When you think of me, what one sentence would you use to describe me?” This will give you direct input as to the key impression you are making on others. You can follow up with a 360 survey or a personal assessment that delves into more detail regarding how others see you.

  3. What do you value most?
    What is most important to you in your career and life? Money, fun, achievement, learning, helping others, status, friends, etc? Your values determine what motivates you and gives you satisfaction. They determine what environment you will thrive in and conversely where you will do poorly and be miserable. Your values determine who and what you are attracted to and what will repel you. Consequently they also will affect how others react to you.
  4. Who is your target audience?
    Who is important to your success? Identify your critical stakeholders and what is important to them. This includes your boss, executives, board members, clients, peers and employees. What is important to each of them? Knowing what you know about them, if you were in their shoes what would you want from you? What would make you feel that you were someone you would want to work with? List your attributes, behaviors and actions that would make this come true. Where do you want to be in their minds?
  5. What are your specific objectives now and for the future?
    Describe in detail what success looks, sounds and feels like. If you had it today what would you be doing, hearing, seeing, feeling? The more specific you are the more real it becomes and the better you will be able to visualize what you need to do in order to achieve them. Knowing this you will recognize opportunities that contribute to achieving your vision.

  6. Putting it all together
    Take the data you have created: strengths, likes, what is important to you, career objectives, how others currently see you, where you want to be in their minds. Write your brand statement. Your statement should cover:

    • What I deliver. What I excel at. My strengths. What I am known for.
    • How I deliver it. My standards. For example, on time, detailed, 24/7, well researched, expert company support, etc.

    • The manner in which I deliver it. My style. What can you expect when you interact with me. For example, collaborative, fun, serious, open, relaxed, aggressive, humble etc.
    • My target constituents. Who I am focusing on. What each group wants from me and how my intentional behavior will demonstrate it to them without a doubt.
  7. By even spending a little time on the 6 steps you will become aware of your brand elements, what makes you unique, the values you bring to what you do. Start noticing how you can bring some of your unique attributes to each interaction to demonstrate your value. In future blogs we will discuss brands in more detail, including how to make it part of everything you do.

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    Related posts:

    1. It’s Your Brand. It’s Your Future!

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