Recently I was watching a TV chat show and the subject of personal brand came up in the conversation. One commentator did a fingers down her throat gesture. My reaction was wow, they really don’t get it.
Here are common misconceptions that need debunking.
Misconception 1 – personal brand is egocentric.
This is perhaps what the commentator believed, that you must have a big ego if you have worked on your personal brand. So, let’s set the record straight, this is not about ego. There is a real difference between being cocky and being confident. Having confidence in being able to articulate your unique qualities and telling others how you add value is not cocky. You just need to say it in a way that feels comfortable and genuine. It is essential to overcome the struggle of validating your best attributes.
Misconception 2 – personal brand is only for extroverted people,
Everyone has something to bring to the table. This is not a space exclusive to out there personalities. Besides, not everyone connects with big personalities. You could possess good listening skills, be a creative problem solver or a person who just rolls up their sleeves and gets the job done without the fanfare. Big personalities have a place, as do quieter and less gregarious people.
Misconception 3 – personal brand is only about how you look.
Without a doubt, the way you dress or present yourself does have a bearing on first impressions. There are great image consultants who can help you in that area. Personal brand has a greater depth and it is about presenting yourself in a light that is genuine. If you try to be something you are not, it will ruin your credibility. Simply put, it is about just being yourself. Don’t keep your key qualities a secret.
Next time you network, give people an insight into who you are and how you add value.
Misconception 4 – personal brand is only for business owners.
Employees’ personal brand is essential to business. How many times do you go to the About Us page on a company website and find that qualifications are listed, but very little is revealed about the person’s values. Businesses must not miss the opportunity to leverage their employees’ personal brand. What sets them apart from others and what value you do they add.
Misconception 5 – personal brand detracts from the business brand.
Quite the contrary, it actually enhances your business brand. We live in an age where more than ever, people choose people. They like to connect with people who they like, trust and have similar values. The decision to work for someone often means they believe in their company values and vision. It is good business to have people representing you who have great reputations and connections.
Misconception 6 – personal brand is only for senior level employees.
Acknowledging all your employee’s great qualities is a terrific way to increase their self-esteem. Excluding junior or admin staff can send the wrong message to them. Feeling valued can go a long way for staff longevity. It also puts your business in a good light. Being seen as an employer who values all their staff. They too represent your business and they have connections that should not be dismissed.
A great quote from Simon Sinek said “customers will never love a company until the employees love it first”.
It’s time to get rid of the personal branding misconceptions and start acknowledging your unique qualities and those of your employees.
Janelle Gerrard has immersed herself into the area of brand, marketing and graphic design for the past 30+ years. She describes her main mission as to defy ordinary. Before Stand Out Brand, she worked for leading international advertising agencies on well-known brands like Revlon, Oroton and Amex.
Stand Out Brand assists small businesses to establish truly genuine personal and business brands. Janelle uses exclusive brand testing tools that quickly gets to the core of who you are and articulates what your business stands for. She regularly runs workshops for businesses and individuals who want to stand out in a competitive market.