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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

5 Steps To A Strong Personal Brand

5 secrets to a great personal "brand"

We are always talking about developing brands in the product sense, but clearly we can apply the rules of brand management to our own personal brands. Here are 5 secrets to develop a personal brand that is different, better, and special.

5. Emphasize your strengths: We all have our gifts – those things that come naturally to us or more easily than for others. They are also usually our passions. Taking these passions and developing marketable skills around them, should be the foundation of any great brand.

4. Ignore your weaknesses: Every performance review has a section called "developmental areas" or something that implies areas that you need improvement. Ignore this! Don't try to fix your weaknesses. Emphasize your strengths. Does Coca-Cola change their product because it isn't healthy? No, they emphasize the product's strengths – that it is a simple moment of refreshment. You as a brand must follow the same logic.

3. Stand for something: Be unique. Don't try to be 10 different things or else the core of who you are will get lost. The strongest brands are centered on one core idea. Great brands make choices. They give up some things to represent their one core idea. Make sure that you make choices in the development of your personal brand.

2. Be able to back it up: Don't try to be something you aren't. Be realistic as to what your brand can and should be. If you are not a great speaker, don't build your brand around great speaking abilities. If you can't deliver what you promise, you will cause irreparable damage to your personal brand.

1. Everything communicates: Take every opportunity to communicate your brand. Identify the individuals and entities that are most important to your overall "brand plan" and make every effort to communicate your brand essence. It is critical to be consistent in your communication so that your target gets a clear picture of your brand. From your clothing to your presentations to your written documents, ensure that you "stay on message"