The Brand Called You
Personal branding, or what used to be called name recognition, may be focused toward financial advisors and other types of consultants, but it contains useful guidance for any professional who needs to be remembered by potential clients or customers. For a consultative sales professional that provides solutions and builds long-term, trust-based relationships with clients, a strong personal brand is vital.
Everyone has a personal brand, but some people manage their brands exceptionally well but most do not. To manage your brand effectively you have to be serious, deliberate and methodical. In 2005 Peter Montoya published the best-selling book The Brand Called You: Make Your Business Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace. In this step-by-step guide for professionals looking to develop a strong company brand Montoya teaches the vital principles and skills of personal branding, including how to craft an emotionally resonant branding message, create top-quality branding tools, and attract a constant flow of business. Many branding experts say that a company or personal brand represents the commitments you keep. Building trust in a brand usually takes a good deal of time yet that trust can be eroded or entirely destroyed by one misstep. So it pays to be mindful of how you — the brand — show up every day and how you are being perceived.
Personal branding is the process that takes your skills, personality, and unique attributes and packages them into a powerful identity that differentiates you from your competitors. It is the clear and powerful idea that comes to someone’s mind when they think of you. A personal brand is an alter ego specifically designed for the purpose of influencing how others perceive you and turning that perception into opportunity. It accomplishes this by communicating three things:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What makes you different or how you create value for your target market
You must tell and ultimately show business prospects why they should choose you over someone else.
Each of us could benefit from individual image building. After all, people who affect your career are going to form opinions of you anyway so you might as well control those opinions as much as you can.
Frank Manfre www.frankmanfre.com