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Positioning Your personal Brand for Maximum Impact

Positioning Your personal Brand for Maximum Impact

Written by: Natalie Jobity

We are all familiar with the branding of a product or a company. If I say “Apple” what images come to your awareness? Because of its strong positive brand associations, Apple products are extremely successful, so much so that people will pay a premium just for the privilege of owning an iPhone or iPad. The company has a clearly differentiated brand that hinges on innovation and top notch quality which is communicated at every touch point with the consumer, so that there is no mistaking an iPad from another tablet.

Brand positioning is as important for individuals as it is for Fortune 100 companies. Strong public personal brands, including Oprah, Michelle Obama, Martha Stewart, Serena Williams and Lady Gaga all have a unique expression that makes them distinct from any other woman.  These women are household names worldwide because of their unique talent/expertise/platform, but also due to how distinctly they present themselves. Therein lies the power of personal branding.

So what exactly is personal branding?  It is your unique value proposition of what you will deliver as an individual. It is what differentiates you from other women in your sphere of influence so that your authenticity and originality shines through. It’s a promise of what others can expect from your performance, whether you are an executive, employee, entrepreneur, artist, celebrity, or performer. Personal branding is every detail about you and how you manage others’ perceptions about you. At its core, it is based on your image. But it is also built upon establishing a reputation for yourself, standing up for what you believe in, showcasing what differentiates you from others, and performing above par (regardless of what you do), on a consistent basis.

In my work as an image consultant, I see firsthand how fundamental our “visual presentation” is because of the link people make between what something looks like on the outside compared to what is on the inside. We live in a culture where we do judge a book by its cover. This is why the visual representation of your brand is essential, particularly when you consider that first impressions about you are formed within 30 seconds or less of someone meeting you for the first time. So how does your image stack up? Is it conveying the message you need it to convey to be successful in your field of influence?

Here’s a quick way to tell if your personal brand has power. On a scale of 1-10 are you?

  • ·         Memorable?
  • ·         Well differentiated?
  • ·         Reputable?
  • ·         Credible
  • ·         Authentic?
  • ·         Influential?
  • ·         Relevant?

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll discover that you have some work to do to position your brand for power and influence. In truth, we can all do with some brand re-positioning from time to time.

As we start a new year, take the time to reflect on your unique personal brand. Think about what the people you want to influence need and expect from you. How do you deliver against that in a way that delights them? How do you want people to experience you? What images does your brand personify? Do you know your perceived brand value? These are important questions to ask yourself as you position your brand for success. Make this the year that counts!

 

It’s important to understand that your personal brand is ubiquitous. Every interaction a person has with you is an opportunity for you to build or undermine your personal brand. In today’s social media culture, your online personas need to be managed as well. Once you have crafted your brand, you need to make every effort to reinforce its message in everything you say and do, offline and online. This includes in- person interactions, e-mail exchanges, phone calls, social media posts, texts, etc.

Here are a few more tips to consider as you start to build your personal brand for impact:

  • ·         Your image needs to be consistent with your business’s brand, your lifestyle, personal style, goals and personality.
  • ·         Your image includes not just the clothes, hair, makeup and accessories you wear, but also your poise, the way you communicate, your vocabulary, articulation, body language and behavior.
  • ·         Every situation is an opportunity to market yourself.
  • ·         Be passionate about what you do. Passion has energy that people can feel and respond to.
  • ·         Strive to make a positive and lasting first impression. Smile. Make eye contact. Be engaging and approachable.
  • ·         Be authentic. Be you. Do you. At the very heart of your brand message is you—the personal manifestation of your brand. Work it for maximum impact.

Here’s to a brand with P.O.PTM (Presence on Purpose)!

Need coaching on building your personal brand so you soar to success? Natalie Jobity is the President of Elan Image Management, an image and style consulting firm based in Columbia MD, servicing women over the world. Natalie coaches women on ways to express their unique style and personal brand so they project “Presence with a Purpose”.  Natalie is also the author of the Amazon bestseller; Frumpy to Fabulous: Flaunting It. Your Ultimate Guide to Effortless Style.  Need a speaker for your next event or company meeting? Contact Natalie for information on how she can tailor one of her core presentations for your group or firm. Visit her site at: www.ElanImageManagement.com.
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