When it comes to branding, there’s an external side and an internal side. On a personal level, “branding” yourself can have many benefits to your professional and personal life, but it’s important to start with the internal vision and values that drive your life choices, rather than letting the external perception of others determine who you are.
A personal brand isn’t about putting on a mask of perfection or trying to fool others into thinking that you’re something you’re not. It’s about intentionally presenting to the world what it is that drives you.
Finding the True Personal Brand Values that Drive You
When you decide to be intentional about building your personal brand, it can be tempting to focus on your social media profiles as the basis for who you are. Those profiles are not your identity though, they’re only a reflection.
Take some time to first focus on the values and passions that mean the most to you. Identifying those building blocks will make the brand you create stronger, more authentic, and more meaningful to yourself and those who interact with you.
The values you identify as most important are what guide your life decisions. Taking time to really think through these and what choices you would make in different scenarios will help you to prioritize your values and be able to fall back on them when big decisions arise. You can have as many values as you want (after all, they’re your values), but having an intrinsic understanding of how you prioritize them is important.
Sometimes people will try to convince you that you should change your values, and it’s okay if you do – but it needs to be based on your decision, after you’ve thought through how it affects the rest of your values.
Life is fluid, and your personal brand can be too, as long as those shifts are the product of your own intentional decisions. Letting others decide how you brand yourself takes the “personal” out of personal branding.
However, that’s not to say you should be close-minded about how those who know you best think of you. Getting feedback from your closest friends and family can help you to figure out how you’re already viewed by others, and what you can do to better align or focus that perception on the values you’ve identified as priorities.
Align Your Personal Brand Values Online and In-Person
Once you’ve determined the foundations of your personal brand, you’ll want to assess the current state of perception through your online and offline social presence.
Look through your social media profiles and remove anything that doesn’t fit with your brand. Decide whether you need to rewrite any “About” sections to better portray your vision and values. Tweak your personal website, or create one that showcases your personal brand.
Compare the events on your calendar to the types of events that support your brand personally and professionally, and look for new opportunities to engage with others, both online and in person.
Make it a habit to continually remind yourself of how your values are prioritized and assess how you’re living them out. How you spend your time and money will tell you how much weight you’re giving to certain values over others.
At BizLibrary, continual professional and personal development is a value shared among our employees, and if that’s something you and your company value too, we’re here to help you act on it. We’ve recently added a “How-To” series to our employee training content library with lots of helpful topics like personal branding.
View a preview of “How to Build a Personal Brand” here:
If you’re struggling to identify the values that really mean the most to you, try building up your self-awareness.