Nike. Apple. Coca Cola. What do they have in common? They’re all well-known brands. A brand is defined by the American Marketing Association as a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
So besides the fact that you interact with popular brands every day (just look around you and you’ll see what I mean), you may be wondering: What does branding have to do with me?
The answer? You can be your own personal brand. And what makes your personal brand unique? It’s simple really–because only you can do what you do, how you do it.
Identifying your own personal brand is creative and fun, but more importantly, it’s an important step if you’ve got entrepreneurial dreams. And even if you’re not planning to create the next big thing, getting clear on your personal brand will help you be confident about what you have to offer the next time you interview for a job or college or program.
Here are three simple ways to hone in on what makes you, and your personal brand, uniquely YOU:
Identify WHO YOU ARE: Brainstorm a list of adjectives or personality descriptors that describe yourself. Are you honest? Inspiring? Creative? Hard-working? Collaborative? Thoughtful? Responsible? Whimsical? Jot down as many words as you come up with, and then narrow it down to your top 5 adjectives. These words, collectively, should capture the essence of who you, and your personal brand, are.
Name WHAT YOU DO: Describe what it is that you do or create that is uniquely your own. For example: I create personalized journals using recycled materials or I offer a fun, interactive curriculum for the children I babysit for or I tutor other students to understand math concepts in a way that boosts their self-esteem. Be as specific as you can be about what you do and think about how your approach is different from how others might do the same thing.
Consider HOW YOU MAKE PEOPLE FEEL: Close your eyes and imagine how you want people to feel after interacting with you. If you’re selling a product you’ve created, how do you want them to use it? If they’ve hired you to do something like babysit or dog sit or tutor, how would you want them to describe you and the job you did to another friend?
These three components make up the foundation of your own personal brand. Write them down in a notebook somewhere and revisit them from time to time to see if they’re changing or evolving. And keep them in mind as you go about doing your fabulous ventures – the clearer you can be about who you are, what you’re doing, and how you want people to experience you, the more likely you’ll be to get the results you’re after!
Want to make sure you really stand out? Check out these tips from author Dorie Clark.
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