Have you ever wondered what people see or think when they look at you? Most of us like to say that how other people view us doesn’t matter or hold much weight, but if we’re honest, I mean really honest, how people view us can have an impact on our lives professionally as well as personally. For instance, look at how celebrities such as Beyoncé, Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian, just to name a few, are constantly in the spotlight addressing their actions or choices whether through songs such as Formation, interviews about slut shaming or some form of social media, like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
We choose our circle of friends and people we associate with based on how we perceive one another. Employers offer us jobs based on how well we present ourselves during the interview process. People are constantly watching and making snap judgments about each other based on how we present ourselves to the world.
Personal branding is an important part of life and can begin as early as childhood. Think about how people react towards you once they realize who you’re related to, where you’re from or even where you may have attended school. You see, I’m a Driskell. That may not mean much too many of you, but if you’re from Lakeland, FL and attended Lake Gibson High School, you probably know one of my family members and have an impression of me based on my last name. I can’t tell you how many times someone has stopped me and asked if I was related to this person or that person and the smile that they displayed when I answered yes.
Branding is not just for companies or celebrities. Simply put, your personal brand is your reputation and how people view you. Opinions are formed based on what you do for a living, how you dress, as well as how you carry yourself. Here are 4 things I’d like you to keep in mind when building your personal brand.
- Be your authentic self. Who you are at your core is what people are attracted to. Never dim your light to please others. When you’re comfortable in your skin, people who are genuine will appreciate and even admire your ability to be yourself at all times.
- Invest in yourself. There are numerous resources at your disposal to help you build your brand, and some may not cost you a thing. In the age of social media, you can follow experts who specialize in brand building and they often share tips for free!!! One of my favorite people to follow on social media is world renowned match maker and entrepreneur, Paul C. Brunson. He is constantly sharing words of wisdom. You can also read self-help books or attend empowerment seminars.
- It’s not who you know. It’s who knows you. Often times I’ve been at a party and someone that I’ve never met in person has recognized me from social media and vice versa. We’d formed an opinion about one another based on how we present ourselves on Facebook. Or what about when you meet someone through a mutual friend and the person comments on how much they’ve heard about you?
- Keep your promise. I don’t think I can emphasize this one enough! Delivering on a promise shows that you are someone people can count on. That you are dependable and trustworthy. It also shows that you care about others because you don’t leave people in a lurch.
Again, your brand is simply your reputation and how people perceive you. It can take years to build a reputable brand but only a moment to destroy. Networking is important but keep in mind that many people will form opinions about you through word of mouth. So, always put your best foot forward and remember to be your authentic self because someone is always watching.
As always, this is from my heart to yours.