Saturday, 11 April 2015

3 Key Elements Of Personal Branding

It is well known that a strong presence across Social Media platforms is vital in building one's Personal Brand. What and how we communicate gives a sharp focus to the way we are seen by the world. In my view there are three key elements that are integral to each person's brand.

1) Authenticity
It all begins with understanding 'Who am I', 'What do I stand for' and 'What is my deepest passion'. To round you off as a person, you could add 'What are my interests'. Some people are very sure about almost everything in life. If you are not, reflection is a great way to find out what your essence is. Being a deeply spiritual helped me in separating the essential from the superficial. It gave me clarity of thought.
Being yourself helps shed the flab of being what you are not.

Interaction with mentors whom you respect and trust is a great way of knowing more about yourself. They often spot hidden strengths and give you invaluable insights. (Honestly, I have liberally used this thanks to the generosity of my mentors). It is like somebody else holding a mirror to your soul.
Now you have the ingredients to prepare a strategy that helps build your brand.

You'd also do well to develop a 'voice' of your own. To rise above the clutter one needs to constantly be innovative, creative and speak up without appearing to be an attention seeker. While it is important to say what you really mean to, not hurting the feelings of others is also of equal importance.
One has to learn to make this shift from 'Personal EgoSystem' to Social Ecosystem. After all, we are all intricately connected.

2) Vitality
Whether it is a product, service or a corporate brand, it has to vibrate with energy. A personal brand is no different. Coming across as a person brimming with positive energy (which you are, or else no amount of branding will ring true) helps you communicate your message with conviction.
You might have noticed that posts that have positive or cheering content are liked and shared the most on social media (research backs this). Don't people get enough of bad news from their newspapers? That's not to say that you share only feel good stuff, however being a permanent town crier is not such a bright idea.
Your brand, therefore, needs to reflect the energetic, positive and confident you. This strategy should be in in sync across all forms and interactions. Whether digital or your emails or how you come across in person.
Also, your brand should make the desired statement without you having to make a song and dance about it.
3) Compassion
As large corporations and brands are shifting their strategies from B2B and B2C to H2H, it is time we realign our strategies accordingly. There is a decided advantage in doing so, too. 
For example the advertising tagline of a luxury sedan a decade ago would have typically read " Now you can tell them you have arrived." It is more likely to be on the lines of "When you don't need to make a statement any more"~ there is a subtle shift from emphasis on brand aspiration to acknowledging the rise in customer's stature.
When the focus is on connecting to the heart (instead of head), there is a decided shift in communication content and form too. For instance storytelling works brilliantly in creating a lasting impact as it appeals to emotions and is more memorable~ facts and excessive information on the other hand, lead to monotony.
The same principle applies in one's Personal Branding communication, since storytelling works very well and inspiring storytelling even better! Depending on the platform (Twitter/Facebook/Google or Blog) one can use quotes, couplets/visuals or longer stories.
Another aspect of H2H is coming across as a person who cares on Social Media- all interactions, comments and posts should reflect this facet. Leaders are known to be always ready to be of help. People look up to people who care.
We could take this a step further. What elevates you as a compassionate being like nothing else does, is a genuine, no strings attached commitment to a social cause. Whether it is by means of contribution of time or resources or acts of philanthropy. The billionaires of the Western world have already shown the way and the Indian Tech tycoons are no laggards either. 
What stops us, in our own small way, from doing so and sharing our passion for a noble cause in a genuine way that works to inspire others? (I am passionate about quite a few causes and I know how tremendously it helped me grow as a human being).
So, speak up with Authority and Authenticity, make your Brand Buzz with Vitality and Connect with Compassion.

Gratitude to Person Branding Coach and Storytelling wizDr.Amit Nagpal, a Mentor beyond compare as well as one who handheld me from my 'green behind the ears' days onto my Personal Branding career. You have helped me immensely in my evolving as a human being. Friends like you prove how invaluable Social Media can be in bringing people and minds together.

Jennifer SertlBusiness Strategist and thought leader in the emerging field of corporate consciousness~ what can I say about you, my Soul sister across oceans as well as my selfless life coach. I owe the theme of Authenticity, Vitality and Compassion to your insightful inputs. You have literally held a mirror to my inner self, sharpened my focus and guided me dexterously. Your belief in me makes me believe in myself like nothing else can! Bless your luminous soul!
This Post was first Published by me on Linkedin

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