How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand for 2017, and Beyond.

How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand for 2017, and Beyond.

During the festive season, many of us have been rushing around buying and giving to family and friends. Now that the party is over, New Years’ resolutions are on the minds of many, so the timing is perfect to give to yourself and strategically map out how you can enhance your work-life fulfillment.


“If you asked me for my New Year Resolution,

it would be to find out who I am.”

Cyril Cusack


Time for A Fresh Start.


The new year is an opportunity to review your career path and write the next chapter in your book of life. The key questions to ask yourself: What makes me happy at work, what makes me sparkle in life, and how will I be remembered™?


Invest in You.


Your brand perception is already out there. Take the time to define it, strategically plan it, confidently control it, and proactively manage your professional reputation. All great leaders have great personal brands; all great enterprises have great business brands. With global competition, it is a battlefield out there, so how will you stand apart and rise above all others?


What Do You Stand For?


Authentic storytelling brings your brand to life and strengthens your ability to stand-out. Personal Branding is about understanding and leveraging your passions, your successes and expertise to optimize performance and outcomes. Quite often this can mean the difference between an unfulfilling job or a rewarding career. It’s about (re)shaping a new image, steering you towards unexpected paths that unlock your true potential. It’s about inspiring a magical story that takes you to higher ground, that creates a buzz, for all the right reasons.



“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”



10 Small Steps – 1 Big ROI.

If you’re looking to build or enhance your personal brand, here are some questions, suggestions and recommendations, to get you started:


1.     What Makes You Uniquely You?


Before you can live your brand, you must identify, understand and prioritize your brand values, your motivators, and passions that energize you. Once this task is completed, you can link these guiding values to your ideal career and life work.


Proper alignment serves three purposes:

  • Bringing your full potential to work – jumping out of bed, instead of merely showing up, dedication to making a difference
  • Searching for work, organizations, cultures, business partners, and people who align with your values
  • Clearly and passionately articulating your specialties and confirming you have the expertise and experiences that your current/future employer or partners seek.


Who You Are? How You Are Perceived?

A personal branding self-discovery process requires introspection, self-analysis, and clarity of mind. Combined with external discovery and feedback, you will uncover who you are, what you stand for, and where you want to go.


Begin by taking a personal inventory to understand your unique values better, your guiding principles. This will help establish your sense of purpose, and direction for evaluating energizing life choices. Is there strategic alignment with your present-day image – how others view you – and the brand reputation you are looking to portray?


2.     What Are Your Superpowers?


What if you were the dragon slayer? Well, you are, or have been. Just think of your Superhero stories in your career and in life, those tasks or projects in which you thrive; where you were complimented and viewed as the go-to-person, those which are at your core, that you enjoy, and how you made an impact on the people – colleagues and customers – in your world. These stories represent your true self, your brand, and provide examples that clearly help you stand out from the crowd. They represent the differentiation that sets you apart from all competitors.


3.    How Will You Disrupt & Dazzle?


Dig deep and confirm you know your true talents, strengths, and skills that are essential for your success in your chosen path. Draw upon your own uniquely memorable stories to engage and enlighten the listener, those that clearly illustrate you live your values, and that you can deliver on your brand promise for a win-win scenario.


What Do You Want to Achieve? What is Your Game Plan?


Creatively brainstorm, think BIG fresh ideas that will ‘shake up’ your field or industry. Align your leader, never the follower brand with your unique value proposition and a strategic plan that will clearly help show your mojo and articulate your differentiation.


Who Is Your Target Market?


Align your superpowers to make your target market shine in their world! Understand how your competition fails to serve? Is there a niche market opportunity where you can take advantage? Complete a SWOT –Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Armed with this ammunition, you can intentionally and purposeful write and execute your plan.



4.    The Art of Storytelling.


Everyone, every business has a compelling story to tell. Your goal is to write and showcase your great story with captivating ‘AHA’ and ‘WOW’ moments that people can relate to, making an emotional connection that inspires a magical response.


Illustrate how you touch and positively impact the lives of the people, your target audiences, your employer, your customers, your network, everyone you connect with.

When writing your story, always remember to be yourself …




5.    Build a Raving Fan Base.


As mentioned, differentiation is the key for disruptive positioning and building loyal fans. Armed with your brand plan and fascinating story, now is the time to make some game-changing noise, on-line and off-line.


Consistently and emotionally connect to build die-hard fans and followers. Doing so will lead to a better career path, a better employee – employer relationship, and/or business bottom-line.    


6.    Spread Your Social Wings.


With your personal brand work completed, it is time to get out there. Begin by building your brand presence and visibility through interactive networking and social communications face-to-face and online: listen, learn, amplify, write, speak, host, engage, mentor. Build relationships one human at a time, by adding to the conversation, becoming an influencer, a supporter, a called upon subject matter expert.


7.    Engage & Entertain.


Now that you have found your voice, shape your content around what you stand for and what you know well. To build credibility and a loyal online following, publish and share educational content that informs, inspires and captivates. It’s all about helping your target audiences – it is not about self-promotion. That said, creating useful content that readers will consume and share will eventually help drive thought leadership.


To further draw in your audience, infuse some fun into your storytelling –the subtle use of humor can make your reader smile, laugh, open their hearts, and that makes for effective writing and learning.



8.    Social Networking.

With 467 million users on Linkedin, it is almost always the first stop for recruiters and employers, and all those in your network. So, invest the time to make your LinkedIn profile impeccable and you will reap the benefits.


A great Linkedin story, combined with a strategic brand plan, can lead to a new passion job. Tied into your employer brand, it can help you rise above the others and secure that coveted promotion. It most certainly can expand your network, connecting you with influencers globally.


Of course, you may want to leverage the many digital communication platforms available. Remember, consistency is a must, so do not spread yourself too thin. Another option for brand enhancement and storytelling is to create your personal web site.


9.    Live Your Brand. Give Back


Your personal brand is not just about you. Its’ about illustrating your value and sharing your talents to drive great success stories for those in your world. Validate your brand, back it up with proof, and recommendations, and return the favor.


Share and post free knowledge, advice and secrets, best practices, your success stories, and even your failures with valuable lessons learned – this will result in an authentic connection and eventual word-of-mouth referrals and leads.


Let us not forget the power of mentoring and volunteering. It’s about giving back – the good you do will eventually make its way back to you, it is that simple.


10.  Don’t Forget Work – Life Balance.


If you feel great, you look great. Work – life balance results in radiant health, so add a proper diet of fitness, fun, family and career balance to ensure you enjoy life to the maximum!


A Toast to The New You!

Cheers to celebrating your past achievements, and to the beginning of carving out a brand-new plan to achieve all your dreams in 2017! Remember the only constant is change, so be sure to periodically review and rejuvenate your personal story – it’s all about proactive adaption and reinvention to ensure continued growth and success.


“Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on.

Being successful means that you’re working hard and walking your walk every day.

You can only live your dream by working hard towards it – that’s living your dream.”

Marlon Wayans



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