How Strong Is Your Personal Brand?

By: Michaela Acuyado

“She seems to be strict and quiet, but when you approach her, she’ll give you a big smile and would gladly talk to you like she has no rules in talking at all.”

Isn’t the above’s description of the woman opposite to who she really is? Yes, you are right! People have known her or describe her that she is strict but the truth is, she really is not and she is very much approachable and talkative to people.

The above description is an example of a personal branding. The personal brand of the woman above is not that strong. Why? Because she hasn’t been able to establish or brand herself as to who really she is. She is really friendly and easy to get along with but people branded her as being strict and quiet. 

See? If you have established a strong personal brand, then for sure, you will be able to deliver well the message of your brand to the people and then people will really know who you really are. So how are you going to assess how strong your personal brand is?

But before answering that question, what is a “ Personal Brand” by the way?

A “Personal Brand” is a person’s description or hashtag of who he/she really is. It summarizes what kind of person he/she is. This personal brand is what other people have known him/her. It is what they will say about him/her when he/she is not around. For example, when someone mentions your name, and the other people will immediately say an adjective about you, then that is your personal brand – in other words, it is what people remember when they say your name.

A Personal brand defines the overall of a person’s character, the values he/she believes, his/her skills and his/her reputation. Therefore, since your personal brand  represents you, you have to make it a very compelling one. You have to establish a personal brand that really defines who you are in any settings and situations you are in. In other words, your personal brand must be unique to you, genuine and consistent. It should be your mirror.

Why is it important to establish a correct and  strong personal brand?

“Never allow yourself to be defined by someone else’s opinion of you.”

 – Unknown

Well, you already knew it in the first place. Because it represents you. So if your personal brand is misleading and is not that strong, then , it’s not representing who you really are and you don’t want that, right? 

You don’t want to be someone else in the other’s eyes. Everyone desires to be known as who really they are. We don’t want to pretend because we should not be. We, people, don’t want to be misjudged and misunderstood. We want to be appreciated for who really we are and we want to be liked by other people.

Having established a genuine and strong personal brand will help us not only in our daily ordinary life but also in our career path and all other opportunities in life. 

Take it for example, when applying to jobs, we passed applications through our resume, took a test and then we underwent interviews. 

The very first role of our personal brand is in our resume. What we put there should reflect who we really are, our character, values, skills and all the things that we think constitutes who we are. This is what employers look at first, right? So it should be authentic and convincing. 

Secondly, during our tests and interviews, we must walk our brand. So since we want to prove to the employers that our personal brand reflects who we really are, like everything that we have written in our resume, then we must act according to those.

If we say we are tech savvy, then it must reflect in the test that we are really good at using the computer.  If we have said in our resume that we have strong communication skills, then during the interviews, we must be able to prove it.

Well, there’s really no need to prove your personal brand if it really is your personal brand. Because it will just follow around. It will reflect who you are – the way you present yourself, the way you talk and converse and the way you treat the employers.

Rationally said, you are the one making your personal brand and it is what you want to instill on people’s minds. So do your best that you will be able to plant in their minds what you want them to think about you. You don’t have to fake it. But, if you are still in the process of what you want to be, it’s not faking anyway. Just do your best to convey the message – your personal brand”.

“Practice what you preach, or change your speech.” –

So back to the question, “How are you going to assess how strong your personal brand is?”

The first thing you should check is your family and friends perception of you as a person. Why? Because they are the closest person who literally knows who you are. You could ask them to describe you as son/daughter or mother/father, or brother/sister, or as a friend, or as a person. Let them describe honestly. Say, you wouldn’t mind if there are a lot of negative descriptions, you just want to know “the You” in their minds and hearts.

Next, check with your colleagues and boss. Well, you could do a little chit chat with your colleagues, in any way you prefer as long you can have a grasp of what they really think about you. For your boss, you could ask him for a personal assessment of yourself.

Last thing is, check with the people who don’t really know you at all but you have met before or a friend of your colleagues. You could ask them of what is their impression of you. They could be honest to you because they have nothing to hide, they don’t know you anyway.

If those persons mentioned above tell you exactly the things that you want them to think about you, then you have a strong personal brand. Because they were able to receive the message you want to convey to them. Simply said, your personal brand really reflects you.

Another way to check if you have established a strong personal brand is to look into your social media accounts. See if you have a complete information of yourself including your true name, contact number, address, educational background, skills and your portfolio (CV/Resume, projects completed), a formal or decent photo of yourself, and your views and interests in life.

Why do you have to do those things? It is because we are already living in an online world and most of the things are happening online. Therefore, our personal brand should also be known in the online world. Employers and all other people, well, we are not sure, but these people may somehow look and search you online. You must be prepared. So you should update everything in your social media that will make them deliver or convey to people your personal brand.

Establishing your personal brand online includes putting in your social media accounts and if you have websites too,  all the details that you want people to think about you.  Very simple right? But again don’t fake it!

So, if employers contact you and people follow you or add you as a friend, then for sure, your social media accounts have helped you deliver to them your personal brand.

If it is the other way around, like your family, friends, colleagues, boss and those strangers perception of  you don’t match what your personal brand is, then, you don’t have a strong personal brand because their perceptions are different from your personal brand. If your social media accounts are lacking of information and don’t match what you preach about your personal brand, then still your personal brand is not strong. So you have to make an effort to really deliver to people what your personal brand says. How do you do it? Make an impact on the life of every person you meet in your life. Show them what you’ve got. Walk your personal brand. Be a good child, employee, friend and a member of the community. Contribute something to them.

So those above are some tips to assess if you have a strong personal brand. Having a strong personal brand is one of the secrets of successful people. By having a strong personal brand, they were able to lead and influence people. It’s like their personal brand is selling so much. 

But why do you think so? Because they have made an impact on people’s lives. 

“ Carve your name on hearts, not on tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”

  • Shannon L. Alder