When you're planning your business and branding everything, you probably didn't think much about your personal brand. Why is this important?
Let's think of it this way. When it comes to major companies, most of them have pretty strong brands. Sometimes all you need is see a certain color and automatically associate it with that brand.
Good branding is about people recognizing who you are and what you do, with the least amount of information possible. It's about reputation and perception as well. Most of the time, we don't even realize the branding because it's so subtle or built in. Like Boss Babe, for example. What do you think of when you hear the words, Boss Babe? For me, I think of their signature pink and strong women killing it in their fields.
Personal Brand is what people think of, when they think of you.
But what about personal brands? Should we be focusing on branding ourselves, not only our products/services? YES! According to Elle Petrillo, Personal Brand Strategist at Brand Builders Group, your personal brand is what people think of, when they think of you. It represents who you are as an individual and is a reflection of your values and beliefs.
It's also what people associate with you and could make or break your career. If you're known for being responsible and on-time, for example, people are more likely to recommend you to others as a source of business. On the other hand, if you are known for not meeting deadlines, or maybe being unprofessional, you are probably less likely to have referrals.
If you want to know what your personal brand is, ask different people this: “If you were to describe me in 3 adjectives, what would it be?” Be sure to ask the people that are close to you and know you well, but also be sure to diversify and ask acquaintances and people who might not know you as well too.
This gives you a good set of data so you can see what your personal brand is. Are these adjectives you want to be associated with? How would you want to be remembered and looked up to? What would you want your legacy to be? All of this ties into your personal branding, and why it's important.
If you don't hear what you want to be known for, what you want your reputation to say about you, I definitely recommend getting into learning more about personal branding and make it work for you.
I went through this exercise myself, to see what people would have to say. Afterwards, I started thinking about what it says about my personal brand, whether or not it's the reputation I want. Even though I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard I was still unsure my personal brand should be. Although, I would caution you though, find a way to get the negative traits too. These are things we should work on improving, nobody is perfect.
I put all my friends and family on the spot, and that's definitely not the best way because nobody would give me anything negative (not to say that they don't exist). So now my personal mission is to find more “outsiders” who don't know me as well, to see how they perceive me and what I can work on. Constructive criticism should always be welcome and encouraged, so we can always grow and succeed further.
I still wasn't convinced about personal branding and why I needed one, so I spoke to an expert, Personal Brand Strategist Elle Petrillo (Brand Builders Group) to gather 5 benefits to having a personal brand.
I believe that part of our role in society is to serve others. I also believe that every single person in this world has the ability to serve another person. Your brand, your reputation is what people think of when they think of you. Do you want to be a person who is just ‘there’ or do you want to be someone that exists for a reason? Your impact can be on just 1 person or it can be on millions. Either way, it matters and make it count.
Taharah Saad is a TEDx Speaker, serves as the President of the Arab American Women's Business Council and also a full-time engineer in the automotive industry. She is the Producer/Creative Lead/Host for the “Her Path to Success” series. Taharah specializes in topics of professional development, diversity & inclusion, work/life balance, and many more; however, her favorite titles are wife and mom. She is also the founder of @glassceilingbreakers and @detroit_bloggers on Instagram. Everything she does furthers her personal mission of helping to inspire, motivate, and empower women to achieve their best selves and success!