Maybe you've started or are about to start a new job, an interesting course of study or just take your life in a new direction.
It's a time when people think about making that fresh start and, in some cases, changing themselves. Or at least, changing how they're viewed by the world. If this is you, then, whether you know it or not, you're concerned with your personal brand.
It's a buzz word (or buzz term more accurately), but your personal brand is how you're perceived by those around you. Your family, your friends, your colleagues, your potential employer.
Put simply, your personal brand is what people make assumptions about.
So how can you use your personal brand to stand out from the crowd? It's all about building presence.
The concept of personal brand starts with the "theory of self" and should be a deliberate, planned extension of your "authentic self."
Your brand has to be based on authenticity, clarity, consistency and constancy, and the concept of an ‘ideal self' is built upon a firm understanding of who you actually are.
It's the concept of building a presence, and one you have to be deliberate about, to communicate the story that you want to tell. What you do and what you say can impact upon people. This means that if you don't own the story, others could very well write it for you.
1. Don't forget the physical – and that includes what you wear.
Certain acting techniques can be useful if they align with your authentic self and the ideal representation of who you want to be.
Perhaps it's learning to pause first, before responding. Maybe it's being physically grounded and using your feet to firmly anchor yourself, achieving a sense of balance before speaking. It could even be learning to control your hand gestures, or maintaining eye contact when talking to people.
Beyond gestures, physical presentation is also about costume.
Being deliberate about what you wear helps you to project a positive image.
2. Remember old school charm - there's no school like the old school.
While modern technology can make communication seem far more effortless, there is still a place for thoughtful, hand-written correspondence.
Sometimes, a hand-written note or card, following up on a meeting, can be very powerful.
It shows you have taken some time and thought, to communicate and connect with someone. And if done well it can be a very professionally seductive tool.
3. Be on your digital guard - what happens online, stays online. Forever.
What does your digital footprint say about you? Employers, colleagues and peers can build a picture of you based on the things they discover through social media and searching online. Every post, photo and comment can collectively be added together to create a representation of you in the minds of others.
You need to be mindful of what information you are sharing, as it can often come back to haunt you. Remember, what you post – even if it's deleted - can live on forever.
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