Personal branding shouldn’t be a buzzword. In fact, it shouldn’t be something “new” or brought on by modern advances in social media. At it’s core, it’s a facet every single one of you should be aware of and have control over.
It’s not a “nice-to-know.” It’s a must-have.
By definition, and depending on the source, personal branding is knowing yourself, your preferred industry and who you serve. It’s what people think about you when you’re not in the room. The first thought that pops into their mind when your name comes up. It’s the alignment of your core values and day-to-day actions.
In the mid-2000s (wow, is that seriously 10 years ago now?), I didn’t take much stock of personal brand. I was in my twenties, a gigging musician, an improv actor, and was over-consuming life. One of my first companies was predominantly working to market and brand nightclubs and bars. As part of the first wave of podcasting, vlogging and “influence,” my first agency was born. I was addicted. I quickly became known as the guy who did marketing and branding for the nightclub and bar industry, though ultimately it wasn’t where I wanted to be. But the opportunity was too grand to pass. The short wins overshadowed the long plays.
It’s a vicious cycle to be in. I didn’t necessarily want to be in this industry, let alone be branding myself as the party animal type. It wasn’t what my core values were. But my day-to-day actions were different. I didn’t want my life to be a blur of drunken nights and late mornings. I had an internal struggle going on.
Personal Branding as a Life Strategy
Your personal brand is so much more than the first page of Google with your name as a query. It’s the process or journey your life should follow to ensure it’s always being perceived in a positive and memorable manner, with your core values and day-to-day actions in alignment.
By thinking of your personal brand strategy as a life strategy, we’re going to be able to navigate through the rough waters of shiny, bright, new objects, tactical trends and tech disruptions because we’re not just looking at the “brand of me” as a silo in our life, but as the core component of our omni-channel being.
4 Ways to Turn Your Personal Brand Into a Life Strategy
- Examine. We define ourselves every day. Whether we’re at a company we love, hate or own, we deserve to be happy. By examining ourselves often, we can quickly acknowledge and course-correct areas of our brand that need refinement to help us stay on course.
- Set goals. Like KPIs (key performance indicators) of a campaign or overall goals of a brand strategy, our life strategy needs goals and KPIs so we can gauge our progress often and realize whether or not we overshot the target or didn’t set the bar high enough.
- Add value. A fulfilled life is a life full of love and value with a keen sense of serving others. The universe works in a weird way where positive attracts positive and value attracts value. The more we can learn so we can teach, the more we’ll be showered with love and opportunities.
- Make positive impressions. Be it first, lasting or advertising impressions, we all should be in the business of ensuring those impressions are honest and positive. Whether emotionally or ROI driven, let us strive for awesome impressions at all times.
What do you want your life to stand for? If you don’t answer this question, you won’t have a map, or a plan, or even a destination. When you do answer it, you’ll see exactly where you’re going and how to get there.
A version of this post originally appeared on LinkedIn, here.