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Personal Brand – Maintaining a True Reflection of Ourself

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With the rise of the Personal Brand (whether or intended or not) via our online activity / presence, it is important to consider if your visible brand is an authentic brand.

Consider this excellent article from FastCompany:

BRAND OR DIE: The Downfall of the Institution and the Rise of the Personal Brand

The more we explicitly know about how we are wired, the more we should then be purposeful about how this is reflected in our brand, how others see & perceive us.  This came to question for me a few weeks back while having coffee with a personal branding expert (amongst other things), Lida Citroen @lida360.  She shared with me the word a mutual acquaintance used to describe me to her and I was truly baffled.  Sweet?  Really?  I know I’m a nice person, but wouldn’t consider “sweet” amongst the top 10 or 20 that anyone who knows me would use.  Lida shared this with me to point out the power of branding and the mis-perceptions that can be left when it’s ignored.  By not paying attention to it, I left someone with the word “sweet” in their mind.  It could mean that if I were to work with her in the future, what she would get from the experience of working with me would be different than what her perception of me was after our first meeting.  There would be an inconsistency that could cause problems.  Instead, she needed to be left with “engaging”, “full of ideas”, “inspiring”, “knowledgeable” –  something more consistent.

Personal brand is NOT false advertising, it’s all about leaving an authentic reflection of who you are in the minds of others.  The better you understand what it is like for others to be and work with you, the better you are able to ensure that people’s initial perceptions are consistent with what this experience will be like.  It can mean you are more likely to get a return call, email, text, or tweet for a blooming friendship, date, interview, contract, etc.

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