Everybody has a personal brand whether or not they’re aware of what it’s communicating.
Identifying your personal impact is a huge step in understanding your personal brand. Your personal brand shows up in your image: what people see – starting with your photo on LinkedIn. Your communications: every email, post, body language, and verbal interaction, to name a few. The experience of knowing you or working with you.
How you show up every single day creates an impact in your business, relationships, and personal life. Taking control of your personal brand doesn’t mean changing yourself or trying to live up to your own standard of perfection, it means identifying what your impact is.
The question is, “What do you want it to communicate?”
Your brand is really the impact you make on people. Your impact on people leads to an impact in business. Identifying your impact and what you want to communicate to others means asking two vital questions: “What are you known for?” and “What happens because of you?”
Perspective is Everything.
Every day I get to help individuals and employees in organizations with the process of understanding, leveraging, and bringing their brand to life and to deliver it intentionally. All too often, the process of identifying a personal brand causes people to get overwhelmed and fall back on industry jargon that doesn’t truly represent what they’re known for. To get a handle on your brand without getting tangled up in unhelpful cliches, there are three perspectives to consider…
What you believe your brand is and what others believe it to be are not necessarily the same. Your perspective is influenced by modesty. Take a look at your resume and LinkedIn profile. Does it powerfully represent your accomplishments? Consider what you tell people in response to “tell me about yourself,” – Are you downplaying your unique skills in order to avoid feeling like you’re bragging?
That’s the worst thing you could do when identifying your personal impact & brand.
We minimize our IMPACT because we don’t want to sound arrogant or boastful. However, if you can’t tell me what you are known for, especially in job search or sales, then I’ll find someone who can. Your perspective is the perspective that most resumes and LinkedIn profiles are built on, but being too modest will never serve you well when you want to prove that you are the best person for the job. Your modesty may be the thing that is getting in your way of your dream job, your dream life! But how do we know without a doubt what excellent skills and traits are applicable to ourselves? Well…
The Perspective of People Whose Opinions Matter.
Your brand – your IMPACT – is most often communicated in person. The challenge in identifying your personal brand lies in articulating it well on platforms for those who may not have met you yet: your resume, LinkedIn profile, web copy, and emails. Your written communications and online presence must help me understand you, or I may never invite you to meet in person.
Getting the perspective of your friends, colleagues, superiors, and clients will help you understand what you really do well, what you could improve on, and what the experience of knowing you is really like.
The results will probably be surprising.
When you ask people whose opinions matter what you’re known for, they’ll usually tell you something so much better than what you’re willing to put to paper. Make a list of 8 colleagues – past and present – and 8 friends whose opinions truly matter to you. Reach out and ask about what they think your personal brand is, what you excel at, what you could improve, what the experience of knowing you truly is. These responses are gold when it comes down to identifying your personal brand and getting beyond just your personal perspective.
The Perspective You Want to Be Known For.
Combining what you think your impact is and what others think your impact is key in defining your personal brand.
Take into consideration what you believe and what others say you’re known for: this creates a third perspective. In my process, we move through the alignment of these two perspectives and build messaging based on both.
The best part? You now have direct data to validate the “I am known for...” dialogue. You now know for a fact because you went out and asked.
The answers you get from people whose opinions matter is usually an elevation of what you said initially. Get into the nitty gritty of how your perspective relates to what others think. Using both perspectives will help you create powerful messaging without having to figure it all out yourself.
Your impact is powerful. Understanding your impact is the first step to harnessing the power of your personal brand. Start by asking two questions that can change your life…