This personal branding thing can be overwhelming, isn't it?
First, you have to decide what you stand for and what you want others to believe about you.
Second, you have to think about all the little interactions you have on a daily basis and make sure that your message is consistent All.The.Time.
Third, as if you don't already have a million things to think about already, you have to build your contact base, make sure your social media profiles are up to scratch and that everybody knows what you're doing.
What if this is NOT what you want?
What if you just want to be you, in your corner of the world, happily doing your own thing? There's really no need for the entire world to know what you're doing. The only reason why you're even reading this is because you want people to take you seriously when crunch time comes.
If this describes you, you're going to find my next point interesting.
People aren't really interested in you or your brand.
(Woah, I just totally put myself out of business right there.)
These days, people are time and energy poor. They don't even have time to catch up with everything in their life, let alone worry about whether you are updating your LinkedIn profile everyday.
If you are spending hours and hours making sure that your "personal brand message" is totally perfect and flawless, you're missing the point here.
People are not interested in what you think/say/look like.
They are interested in what you can do for them and how you're going to do it.
In a survey of 75,000 customers on their satisfaction level and intended brand loyalty to a given company, 20% of customers said they were satisfied with the company, but they were going to jump ship to another brand when the opportunity arose.
So, there are all these companies out there working on making a super savvy website, giving away huge discounts and doing everything within their power to impress their customers but the customers were going to flip anyway when the time came.
What an utter waste of time and money!
Does this mean that personal branding is a bunch of fluff?
Well, It is if you equate it only to what you say and how you look.
The survey reported that loyal customers are created when the organisation focuses on making it easy for the customer to do business with the organisation.
If the organisation pre-empts any obstacles and provides solutions even before the customer asks for it, they effectively reduce the effort needed by the customer for the interaction, the customer becomes a very happy one because he now can channel the time to things he would prefer doing.
What does this mean for me?
Personal branding is all about getting people to prefer dealing with you over somebody else.
Even if you tick all the boxes of having a great personal brand, if your work is riddled with mistakes, or if you cannot work in a team, or if you flip flop on your commitments, people are not going to take you seriously or want to work with you in the future.
If it takes too much time to get a job done through you, they will take that opportunity somewhere else.
If you're the only person who can do it, they will suffer through it, but the backlash will appear in another form that will hurt more than just your brand.
So before you charge out there and spend hours populating your LinkedIn profile, before you buy a brand new wardrobe, here are six questions you can use to reflect your brand standing among people who work closely with you.
How will they rate your cooperation level?
How will they rate your quality of work?
How will they rate your responsiveness to requests and deadlines?
How will they rate your ability to understand what was required?
How will they rate their overall satisfaction with you and your work?
How likely are they going to recommend your work to somebody else?
If you really want to go the extra mile, download this free printable assessment that you can print out and pass to the people you work with. Let them tell you exactly where you stand and spend your valuable time working on what actually matters to your credibility and personal brand.