Create a personal brand

Ramesh was known for his ability to keep his cool during a project crisis. For the company he was working for, people observed that several times that during a project crisis, he remained calm and got to a solution to ease the crisis. Very soon, it became a practice, whenever there was a crucial project with a tight deadline, Ramesh would be brought in to lead that project.

On one hand, Ramesh got quick promotions in the organization while on the other hand, he was always working in projects which had crisis. Knowingly or un-knowingly, Ramesh created a brand for himself and the results he was getting was commensurate with his brand image.

Whether we want it or not, all of us have a brand image. Most often than not, we create our brand image without much thought or understanding. For Ramesh it gave a mixed result but everyone may not be that lucky. Lot of people get stuck with a brand image they do not desire to have. That’s why it is important that we spend time and energy to understand the brand we want to create for ourselves and take actions towards creating that.

There are lot of books written on personal brand building but very few professionals read them and even fewer really work on consciously creating a brand for themselves.

For top brands of goods and services that we buy every day, the parent organizations spend 4 to 6 percent of their revenue on activities that create and maintain the brands. Compare that with us as individuals and we will see most of us spend nothing (in terms of money or effort) in building our brand.

In India, many of us have a cultural barrier to overcome when it comes to personal brand building. We tend to believe “if I am good, people will notice me”. While that is true that no one will notice us unless we are good at something but sometimes we get noticed for the wrong reasons. Also in a job market where there are lots of people with similar skills and expertise, it is difficult to get noticed unless we make some effort ourselves.

All journeys start with a single step. To take the first few steps of personal brand building let us start with some introspection. Let us ask ourselves the following questions:

1)      What are my strengths?

2)      Are people that matter, aware of my strengths?

3)      What can I do to bridge the gap between what I know my strengths are and what people see as my strength?