Overcome the Common Stumbling Blocks to Executing a Winning Personal Brand Strategy
Personal branding has become a widely popular topic. People from all walks of life are taking the idea more seriously. What about you? Do you want to make the most of what you have to offer and become more of what you visualize yourself to be? Are you asking, “What’s the right strategy for me?” and “How do I go about putting a personal brand strategy to work that will bring me greater success?”
Implementing a personal brand strategy starts with a true desire to put a clearly defined strategy into play and act on it. From the moment the desire sparks within us to the point we decide to take action, we can end up sabotaging ourselves in the process. Here are some common stumbling blocks that may be keeping you from implementing a winning personal brand strategy:
1. Unclear on what makes you unique
2. Self-limiting beliefs
3. Fear of moving out of your comfort zone
4. An undefined Personal Brand Strategy/ROADMAP
Have you experienced any of these stumbling blocks? If so, then you are most likely experiencing less than optimal success. Dare To Be Your Own Brand demands that you get clear on what makes you unique. Then you have to leverage it with an unwavering commitment in everything you do and be willing to step out-of-the-box, focus on a clear path for personal brand elevation and stay the course.
T. Harv Eker, author of The Millionaire Mind says ”Most of us have a pretty good idea about the sum experience of our lives; what we’ve been taught, how we’ve come along so far, and how we generally tend to operate. Maybe a better question than ‘Who are you’ is, ‘Who do you want to be’?” I believe you have to ask both. To bridge the gap between these two requires unearthing your unique attributes and leveraging them!
4 STEPS TO OVERCOME THE STUMBLING BLOCKS TO YOUR PERSONAL BRAND STRATEGY
Step 1: Define What Makes You Unique—become more consistent with who you already are!
Your personal brand is your unique Brand DNA (your own unique Dimensional Nucleic Assets®)—a reflection of you and what you stand for. At the heart of the matter, it starts with uncovering your values, your personal style, standards and differentiators, and a compelling Brand Mantra you can live by.
- Personal Values—what is most important to you? What guiding principles drive you? (Do you value adventure, creativity, relationships, honesty, freedom, financial security etc.?) Your behaviors and actions are a reflection of your values. Your personal brand is physically expressed in what you do and how you show up. Take the time to reflect on your behaviors. Are you consistent in your behaviors? If not, then you may not be acting in concert with your values. And if that is the case, it is time to get clear on your values.
- Personal Style—how do you present yourself? What are the dominant attributes that express your unique personality? Are you inquisitive? Do people consistently respond to your positive attitude and straight-forward approach? We all have a unique personality. Take some time to examine and define the attributes that reflect your personal style and commit to behaving relevant to your style every day.
- Personal Standards—what level of performance excellence do you adhere to in your personal and professional life? What standards do you set in personal and business relationships that are important to you? Do you have standards for how you relate and deliver on your commitments to friends, family, colleagues, clients and or business associates? Are you consistent in living up to those standards? Take some time to consider what your personal standards are.
- Personal Differentiators—what makes you stand out? What distinguishing attributes set you apart from others? Have you taken the time to inventory the attributes that distinguish you from others? If you haven’t examined the quality attributes and distinctive competencies that make you stand out, then how can you leverage them in every facet of your life?
- Declare a Personal MANTRA—what will you live by? What 2-3 key words describe the essence of who you are? Are you “Bold and Adventurous”? “Simply, Mind-Blowing”? “Driven to Deliver”? Get to the heart of who you are and what you want to be. Getting clear on this will give you a personal mantra to live by each and every day. Think of this as your personal ‘cheer’ that you can cite in your mind or out loud to keep you living your brand 100%.
Step 2: Gather Feedback.
To make change happen, you need to identify habits, behaviors, actions and self-limiting attitudes about yourself. What are the consequences of not committing to change with a solid strategy? Everything will remain status quo.
Once you have articulated your personal brand attributes in Step 1, get some feedback from friends, colleagues, business associates. You may be thinking, “Are these attributes really me? What would others say?” Well, you won’t know unless you ask. Why is it important to get feedback from others? To help overcome those self-limiting beliefs and to better manage your personal brand—to become more of ‘who you want to be’! It will also help you understand other’s perceptions and the gaps/limitations in how you view yourself.
Step 3: Commit Yourself to Change.
The feedback in Step 2 will also help you stretch your skill sets and uncover some hidden attributes you didn’t realize or thought unimportant. Reflect on the feedback and keep an open-mind. You need to know if your personal brand is aligned with your actions and words. Then make an action list of the things you need to do to be what you want to be. Commit yourself to change.
Ask yourself, “How can I aim even higher? What quirks and oddities of mine can I incorporate into my personal brand and leverage?” Most of us spend our adult lives trying to conform. This is a chance to celebrate your uniqueness and strengths, and break out of your comfort zone.
Step 4: Establish and Execute your Personal Brand Strategy/ROADMAP.
Set priorities, execute and monitor progress. Review your personal brand attributes and establish clarity in your strategy and goals. Write them down. Then write down at least three small steps you can begin to take to work towards reaching those goals. Why is it important to document your goals? It’s a way to put a stake in the ground with clear direction and purpose. It gives you a clear roadmap to monitor progress and leverage highly targeted actions. Ask yourself, “How important is this to managing my personal brand?” If it’s not important or you don’t set the time aside, it’s usually a lack of focus and misappropriation of priorities. Set your priorities. Take it in bite-size pieces and stick with it.
Our actions are a direct result of our desires, priorities, beliefs, and emotions about ourselves. Living and elevating your personal brand is a conscious, strategic and deliberate process. It requires pigheaded discipline and determination. What is your desired future state? What are the specific goals and actions you need to take to be more of who you want to be? Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself. By doing so, you become a stronger, more resilient and successful personal brand.
A FEW TIPS:
- As you implement your Personal Brand Strategy/ROADMAP, you WILL uncover some unique attributes. As a result, your personal brand WILL alienate some people, and from a branding point of view, that is a good thing. Strong brands don’t try to be all things to all people. No brand is UNIVERSAL because being all things to all people is not UNIQUE. In our personal and professional life, it takes courage to make that a reality.
- Always check for congruence with others – pay attention to the cues, (spoken or unspoken) body language, and adjust accordingly to ensure you are showing up in the way you want to be perceived. Ask yourself, “Are you seeing the results you set out to achieve?” Adjust/adapt accordingly.
- Don’t hesitate to find a personal branding coach. A coach can be a very effective accountability and thinking partner. They can help you face your blind spots and implement laser-focused, high impact actions that deliver breakthrough results with significant return on your investment. It’s an investment in YOU! (If you are interested in learning more about Suzanne’s personal brand strategy and executive coaching services please contact her at Suzanne@brandascension.com or check out http://brandascension.com/suzanne-tulien/hello/brand-consulting/
Posted by Former Partner Carol Chapman, Principal & Co-founder.
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