What Does It Mean to BRAND YOU?
“All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” – Tom Peters in Fast Company
Have you ever wondered how others see you? Have you ever tried to control the way others perceive you? If you answered yes to these questions, you may not have realized it, but you have already started to take command of your personal brand. We all consciously care about the way others view us, but most times we don’t consider our own power in shaping the values, abilities and actions that others associate with us. If we dig a little deeper, we can all create a powerful and clear representation of what we stand for – create our own personal brand.
So, what exactly is a personal brand?
Your personal brand is your promise and your “declaration” of what you want to come to mind when people think about you. Not to be confused—your brand is not your image! It is something that develops from knowing who you are on the inside. There is never an endpoint after discovering your brand, it evolves and changes with you in your personal and professional journey. A personal brand follows a process that takes time and requires action and attention. It is something that you intentionally work at to create greater self-awareness. Your brand defines what you stand for, your core values and what you want people to remember about you!
Five steps to help you manage your personal brand:
- Define your brand
- Be authentic
- Be confident
- Understand who you are on the inside and what it means to define you
- If you are willing to market yourself, you must be willing to buy into your own personal brand
Contributed By: Kelbi Ervin
IWL Intern, UIndy 15’
A note from our President & CEO
During my journey over these past 30 years the concept of “Brand You” never crossed my mind. However, since we started truly evolving IWL’s brand and began the discussion about this year’s conference theme, Brand You, it has truly made a profound impact on everything I do and everything I say, every single day.
Early on in my career, I developed a very corporate image. My core values were important, my integrity was important and my actions were important, but I never viewed it externally and never considered how it looked to the people around me. I always had an image, but I never looked at it as my brand.
I attended a meeting about a month ago for MedAssets that I played a key role in as the head of the leadership development division of our Women’s Initiative. The room was full of a select group of around 30 people and as I entered, I realized that 90% of the people in that room did not know me. Everything I said or did during that 60 minutes would shape who I was to these people. At that point, I realized I really needed to be thoughtful about my brand.
It is up to me to project the image that I want to have as an executive, a woman, and as a leader. And I believe it is more important now than ever. Brand You is no fad. It is a critical way for women to lead their daily lives. That is why IWL’s Brand You Women’s Leadership Conference is so valuable to our attendees. On September 24th, over 500 women and men will learn how to shape and define their brands, among them, Indiana’s most influential leaders. It will be a powerful day for everyone in attendance. It will transform the way women think and inspire them to embrace their own personal brands.
Register for the conference online today at www.IWLBrandYou.com