6 Keys To Building Your Personal Brand

Our brand starts long before we show-up with people, and ends as soon as we leave the room. Brand building is created as we leave the room, just like muscle builds after we leave the gym. We plan a vacation or a workout toward a goal, and brand building requires a similar planning process. One where we align our goals with a sustaining image aimed not at surprising or disappointing, rather aimed at inspiring. Welcome to the “it” factor.

Branding for executive presence has been the hallmark of Roz Usheroff’s expertise and she offers some great insights in her research and book “The Future of You! Creating your Enduring Brand.”

Roz clarifies that executive presence is the special quality that captivates others to follow you and inspires allegiance and devotion.

Keys to brand building – the “it” factor:

1. What do I really care about at work? What am I prepared to sacrifice to achieve something? Some call it passion, work ethic, love, or raw persistence. What do you call your extra effort? –  the “why” that energizes your “it” factor.

2. How do I differentiate myself from everyone else? All of us are snowflakes in a greater scheme –  no two of us alike – and to really analyze our uniqueness is to give power to our “it” factor.

3. Choose behaviors that support the power and energy of our best self. Self-awareness (the #1 trait of leadership) is gained through learning from the feedback people give to us, and it drives our authentic “it” factor..

4. Try to think and talk as both Extrovert and Introvert – an Ambivert is what author Dan Pink calls it. Richard Branson, Michelle Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg know when to speak and when to listen. They move smoothly from generalists to strategists in order to support an organizational goal, and that gives various types of people admiration of their “it” factor.

5. How we interact with others at work, social, or charity events in a 1:1, small, or large group is how our brand knowledge is defined by others. Do we have pre-thought out questions? Do we remember names or previous conversations? Those are the actions of our “it” factors.

6. We should respect our appearance as the cover of our brand, sort of like a book cover. Do we appear tattered, dog-eared, or do we have fancy gold lettering? In order for others to respect our branding, we need awareness of how we present it to them. Approaching these situations politely, smiling, and with handshakes, is better than with crossed arms in the corner, a know-it-all face, and exuberant hugs to strangers. This gives respect to our “it” factors

We all know when someone has “it” as well as when someone lacks “it.” A person with “it” exudes an Invisible power and commands a room, like Ronald Reagan did. We have a hard time defining “it,” but just as trust, professionalism, and character – if you give those traits some visuals, people will be inspired and attracted to the “it” in You.

Work on your it!

Jim

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