20 April 2016 1702 Views 0 Comments

The term personal branding has been making an outstanding career in the last year. More and more often we hear how important building a personal brand is. Not really understanding what it is and how to do it properly, and at the same time, feeling mild anxiety and remorse that we don’t do it.
In my previous texts, you have already read about building a personal brand. In each upcoming article you will find threads which will be the continuation of them. This time, I will focus on the process itself so that you, by yourself, can sort the respective jigsaw pieces into a larger whole.

Building a personal brand that is doing what exactly?

Consciously managing oneself, or in other words, deciding what and when I do, and not letting circumstances and other people decide for me. To what extent are you the creator of the reality in which you function in? And to what extent do you adjust to it? I can already hear all the yes, buts… 😉 Let me respond with a question again: to what extent do you take the responsibility for yourself and the shape of everything that you do, and how often do you prefer to have others take it for you? Besides, apparently we all have something called free will, although Benjamin Libet would argue with that.
I do not mean only the major changes which will affect others. It is important that these things are important for you, for the quality of your life.
Consciously managing oneself that is knowing yourself, your capabilities, having your goals and consistently achieving them. You may say that life is not a project and one cannot approach it in a task-oriented manner. Certainly. However, if you say so, this text is not really for you, and building a personal brand in your case will not matter much.
Consciously managing oneself is also deriving pleasure and satisfaction from what you are doing and having confidence that you are on the right track. Only then can we be authentic in what we are doing. A saying straight from the motivational speeches but I really do believe it 😉 Besides, nowadays, authenticity ceased to be a generic value, which only proves how little is needed to stand out.

Components of a personal brand

If I were to enumerate what, in my opinion, constitutes a personal brand, I would present it as follows:
self-awareness + competencies + trust + reputation = personal brand
Your brand is as strong as the weakest link of this simple equation. Analyzing each and every one of them will help you define where you are now. It is difficult to assess it by yourself. This is why it is good to ask a few people for the feedback (I recommend the minimum of six people and may they not be your best friends) who you deal with at work and outside. Seems easy, but it’s not. Many people encounter resistance to accept the feedback related to these four aspects. Especially if we don’t work or develop in the environment in which accepting and giving the feedback is natural. Here I mean a professional feedback that is the nourishment of champions 😉 and not a mere criticism.

How well do you know yourself?

Getting to know yourself is an endless road. One day, I asked the person I consider to be very self-aware: what happens when you are so deepened into self-awareness that basically there’s nothing left to be discovered? I got the brief: we die. Then I said loud and clear that in this case I would rather be always on the way. How well do you know yourself, your talents, your abilities, and your potential?
According to dr Carl G. Jung: any progression, any achievement is accompanied by the development of human self-awareness. When deepening the self-awareness is treated as fun, it brings us to interesting solutions. The market provides a whole range of tools ready to support you at this stage of building your personal brand.

I’ll call you when I need…

… to build my personal brand, buy a condo, find out what’s on top now, have a laugh, etc. Who calls you and what for? Putting it in the marketing language – who is your target-group, what need do you respond to and what benefit do you offer?
Remember the pigeonholes and pick one thing with which you want to be associated with.


Today, our promises, credibility and authenticity are verified within minutes thanks to the Internet or a few phone-calls. If you tell your target-group that you specialize in a given issue or you are an expert in a specific area – confirm it. Marketers call it RTB (reason to believe) that is everything that will be the confirmation of your promise. Experience, education, awards, a book, a speech on TEDx, etc. In other words, facts which authenticate your personal brand.
A book is the quickest way to build a position of an expert in the area in which you want to specialize. I once heard that when one becomes the author of a book, they instantly become the authority in a given area. What is your book going to be about?

Right, left, or straight ahead?

Alice in Wonderland asks the Cat: Would you like to tell me which way I should go now? The Cat replies: It depends, to a large extent, on the destination.
When we are self-aware, know what distinguishes us and on what we are going to build the position of an expert on, it is good to define what for are we doing it and what is our destination. You may plan your success and then consistently implement your plan week by week, month by month, year by year… seems so easy, and yet so little people do it. What are we lacking? I dare say that the exact same thing that is missing in the process of building a brand of a product or service, which is the consistency and perseverance in our actions.

I’m sorry, but it is not about you

You are reading this text not to make me happy but in hope of getting a guideline for building a personal brand. Also, for the same reasons, offering the specific benefits, others will want to use your services, read your book. They will want more of your knowledge and experience. Do you know why they should choose you and not some Kate or Ben? What distinguishes you from your competitors?

The tastiest for the end

A strong personal brand is not a tomato soup, not everyone has to like it. Don’t even try to make it happen. You are not for everyone, and as long as you are not offending or harming anyone and you act with accordance to your values, everything is okay. A strong personal brand has the courage to speak loud what it thinks, and this is the force which the weak and average brands envy. May the force be with you! 🙂
Jeff Bezos claims that a personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room. Do you know what others say about you?

Małgorzata Lisowska

My name is Malgorzata Lisowska. I'm working as an Innovation Architect. I build innovation and brands, making the maximum use of the potential of the right and left hemispheres.

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