It’s true! Nothing is more powerful than you when it comes to your professional life. And you are your personal brand. It’s in you, already! I promise! But without sharing it or consistently showing up as your authentic self, others won’t get to experience it and you’re losing out on an amazing opportunity for connection.
So let me reframe it to give some perspective. Your personal brand is like your business card. It’s what people see when they think or talk about you or when you walk into a room. It’s the lasting impression you leave. When you hand out your business card, you are saying “this is a summary of who I am and what I’m about”. Your personal brand should do the same!
Like business cards, personal brands require maintenance and a refresh every so often. You might have changed your work situation, location or simply want a new look and feel – so you go and update your business card. But are you doing the same with your personal brand? Are you continuously sharing you as you progress and develop?
Being clear on who you are and how you present that to the world means that you’re ever evolving self will continue to be at the forefront. Although you’re fundamentally, always you, things in your life do change and what you want for your life certainly can. You may have connections who met you years ago, who could greatly help you with where you are now. But they don’t know what you want, where you’re going or what you’re doing – if you do not share it. Whether you are putting a message out there or not, those connections are forming an opinion of you. So it’s important to take control of the story and lead the conversation.
Being in control of your story is what personal branding is all about. You’re ensuring that the world is up to date with who you are professionally, and of course personally. When you’re in control you can ensure that your greatest asset (YOU) is presented how you want it to be received – just like a business card.
The great thing about this is that you have total control over the design! I’ve worked with clients in times of transition to help them update their messaging, step into who they are now and share that with the world.
One of the best tips I can share when it comes to networking is to present yourself how YOU want to be seen on your business card. The more specific the better. Because this is your story and what you choose to tell people, is what they will believe! The same is true for your personal brand – if you want to be seen a certain way, position yourself in that way and then show up!
You wouldn’t hand someone an old business card, so why would you share an outdated view of yourself. Is it time to focus on your brand?