What Does ‘Brand You’ Stand For?
I know that lots of people raise an eyebrow when they hear the word “brand” and especially when they hear the expression “Brand You.” Sorry but I hate to be the one to say that it actually does matter – brand “you” that is. It’s the way you present yourself at work, what you wear, what you say and even how you say it. This combines to create an impression on other people, all of which may not coincide with how you perceive yourself.
Unfortunately, as a consultant you really do need to pay attention to this sort of detail. You are always under the scrutiny of others and you are representing someone else; you are there in their name. If you look and sound shoddy, or angry or too busy then that reflects on the company you work for.
Have a sneaky peak in the mirror and give yourself the once over – what does the way you dress say about you? Smart, modern, casual, classic, scruffy, out of date, well fitting, poor fitting? You will know the answer and you may well be happy with the answer, but do yourself one massive favour – be honest with yourself.
There is also more to your personal brand than just the way you look – how about the way you go about things? If a challenge comes along do you make sure everyone knows about it, do you tut and sigh and tell everyone, do you crack on and get organised, or do you ask for help or inspire others to join the challenge with you? How do you use your tone of voice and your body language? High pitched whinging, shouting, whispering, firm or clear?
The real starting point before you dig the mirror out is to sit down quietly and think about what you want to be, then have the honest debate with yourself. Is there anything you might like to change?
Here’s your challenge – consider what you want people to think about you within the first 40 seconds that they meet, see or hear you (it won’t take much longer than that for them to make their mind up).
How do you look – what impression are you giving?
How do you want to deliver what you have to say?
What do you stand for – how will they know?
Penny Whitelock FinstLM