Personal branding is about you. It’s about you presenting yourself to an audience. It’s about you standing out.
But there are two sides to this coin. On one side, you need to understand your audience, and you need to know what will speak to them – what it is you need to present that will connect with them. The other side of the coin is you. It’s who you are. You are the sum total of your experiences and what you represent to your audience.
But who are you?
We often like to wear masks. We like to present what we think our audience wants to see. People have been walking into offices for years, and leaving parts of themselves at home. It’s like they put on a different face when they walk in the door. They act out the role of the professional worker.
We put on the face we think people want to see – but when we do this, we lose part of ourselves. Your brand should draw on all of you. What you experience at home or with your family can be just as valuable in other parts of your life. What you learned about yourself when walking up that mountain trail, driving across the country, celebrating an anniversary – even what you have learned through personal loss. All of this makes you who you are.
Take some time, think a lot, think of everything you’ve got – then see how this makes you who you are. Draw on this as you build your own “brand you”. Then draw from this what will best meet the needs of your audience.
You are your personal brand. Be who you can be.