Building a compelling personal brand is not just good for you but it’s great for business, for your communities and helps you control your narrative.
While when I started off, a job was to just get by and have a good life, my nephew opened my eyes to a bigger purpose. I suddenly found myself contributing more of my time, to mentor, share knowledge in networking forums, writing for publications for PR & Communications and showing up for my own Sikkimese community. It helped me focus on my career and narrow down on the topics that I can be good at, as a communications leader, as a D&I champ and a mountain girl.
So before you begin your personal journey, take a long, hard look at yourself. When I orient senior leaders to use of social media or personal branding I use a simple way so that hiring an expert is not needed. It needs to be authentic, that’s why you have to DIY (Do it yourself)!
Create your stick figure, literally
Make a stick figure and write down your name.
Step 1 – Like we labelled the human anatomy in Bio class, label this figure with all the things that make you, YOU – your personal and professional expertise, competence, accomplishments, hobbies, usual mood (serious, joyous, stoic), your personal favourite topics, one thing that no one knows about you and what have you! Bring your whole self to this exercise.
Picture from: https://portraitoftheoddity.tumblr.com/
Step 2 – Circle all the things you’d really like to be known for or to be contacted for or topics you’d want to pass on the knowledge about.
Step 3 – Write those down and it could boil down to something like – Logophile. Communications Leader. Mountain Girl.
These are your key topics, to connect on, engage, write, comment, speak, and make a content calendar out of.
Re-create your journey on paper
When talking to young leaders, while mentoring or during training, I can’t emphasize enough the ‘reflect on your journey’ bit. It helps so much to introspect on your journey so far, gives you so much clarity on why you are where you are, what’s stopping you from being your absolute best, and what are you really good at and in finding your whole purpose.
Recreating your journey, in your journal (perhaps) helps with your narrative. Who are you is the sum total of your experiences, your wins and failures, your downfalls and your strengths. Re-create that journey on paper, and write down your narrative, your executive profile, in PR terms.
Find your style
In your stick figure you wrote down your usual mood. This can define the tonality and style of your writings, your speech and your behaviour – consistency is main driver of a brand. Consistently delivering on your brand promise is what puts the trust of people on you.
Now that you have your content topics, calendar and style – you have your ‘personal brand’ book!
In a PR and Communications terms, with the information that you have with the above exercises, you can now make a media/ communications plan. Where do you want to talk or be seen, what are the key messages and who is your Target Group (TG).
Nota Bene: Always remember, that what you share be in your talks, meetings, blogs or social media, the TG (target audience) is the most important part. Who are you communicating to? Keep the relevance of the audience in mind so that there is a little takeaway for everyone!