Although the concept of branding (conceptually not in name) has been around since Napoleon Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich, it was 1997 when Tom Peters introduced the term personal branding to the world, and there are so many people who believe that they get to decide if they create a brand or not.
WRONG.

Whether you are conscious about it or not, you are in fact, creating a personal brand. Furthermore, if you aren’t conscious about it, it’s probably not a good one. 🙁

Forget what you’ve heard, branding is not just for companies or entrepreneurs anymore. Employees, students and everyone in between really needs to get conscious about building a personal brand. Personal branding is a leadership differentiator; it will help you go farther faster in your career and life. In fact, parents should be raising their children to become conscious of their personal brand and helping them to establish it. The first 6 years of a child’s life are influential and the best time to start introducing them to personal branding. While you’re likely more than 6 years old, it’s not too late for you to begin to establish your leadership legacy and doing so will only enhance you and the company you support with your time, talents and strengths. The fact is, people are going to create a gut feeling or emotional response to you any way, so if you had the chance to actively infuse that impression, wouldn’t you want to?

You betcha! That’s what conscious branding is all about.

In addition to being conscious during the branding process you’ve got to build a holistic personal brand. A holistic personal brand is one that considers four pillars: your values and passions, your strengths and differences, your marketability and your perceived value. The best brands are built by looking at both sides of the coin. You can surely tell the world what you want them to know you as, but you sure as better make sure that the way they perceive you matches the images, behaviors and actions that you put out there. If there is a disconnect, their perception of you is going to win.

Sorry but it’s true.

So are you ready to start thinking consciously about your personal brand? GREAT! Here are some tips to help you along your personal branding journey:

1. Choose five people whose opinions you value that you know will tell you the truth. Ask them to complete some variation of a 360 assessment on your behalf. Specifically, make sure that they tell you the 5 words they feel you personify consistently. Please note: this could be good, bad or down right ugly. Be prepared. And remember, you can’t change a perception until you know what it is.

2. Complete your own self-assessment and ensure that you list the five words that you want to exude via your actions, attitudes and behaviors at all times. Please note that your brand doesn’t get a day off. You’re going to have to always be conscious of what you’re doing and how others are seeing it.

3. Take your five words and create brand mission statements around them. Ultimately, these five statements should roll up into your brand promise statement or, how you PLAN to consistently show up and deliver your brand in the marketplace (regardless of if you’re an employee or entrepreneur.)

4.Create your brand positioning statement by taking the time to think through how you plan to position your brand. Remember, it’s not about what you’re selling, it’s about how you package and position it. How do you want to show up for others? What do you want them to take away from an encounter with you?

5. Create your brand action plan. How will you ensure that your goals are measured and progressing your brand position? Remember, what gets attended to gets done. So by writing down your plan, you instantly become more likely to implement it.

So, now I want to hear from you…what’s your two cents? What is the process you’ve under gone to build your brand? How are you making sure you’re consciously creating the brand you want in the market place? Have you had a 360 assessment completed? Did the results match up to what you thought you were exuding? Please share your two cents with us by leaving a comment on this post and participating in our After Party.

Need help with your personal brand development process? Consider booking a Brand in Demand Strategy Session with me to help you develop, align and deliver a strong personal brand.

©2013 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Speaker, Business and Executive Coach and Business, Brand and Marketing Strategist, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises.com, YourCorporateIncredibleFactor.com, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program for helping entrepreneurs and business leaders define, own, unleash and leverage their innate gifts and talents that solve major problems for others [Incredible Factor].

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