Editor’s Note: Build Your Brand, Not an Image!

Editor’s Note

By Peter Sterlacci

Build Your Brand, Not an Image!

We all have role models, heroes, or leaders we look up to for inspiration, motivation, and guidance. We aspire to be like them and maybe even have dreams of actually being them.

In the last issue of YOUnique William reminded us of the importance of being authentic. While it is great to have role models you can never really be them. You can buy the same clothes, drive the same car, or talk the same way. But in the end, you are still you! This demonstrates the difference between branding who you authentically are versus creating a superficial or fake image of who you are not. Continue to look to your role models, heroes, and leaders for inspiration but in the end simply be yourself. Here are 4 things you can do to build your brand, not an image:

1. Get Feedback

The 360˚Reach Personal Brand Assessment enables you to gather data regarding everything that define your brand. The process begins with a self-assessment and is followed by requesting feedback from others so you can compare how you view yourself with how you are currently perceived. The results will enable you to identify areas that you want to accentuate and areas you want to diminish as you develop your brand.

2. Focus on strengths

Capitalize on your strengths rather than improve your weaknesses. Save time by taking what your are strong at and make it superb instead of wasting time on your weaknesses. When you focus on your strengths, you demonstrate passion and drive. When you focus on your weaknesses, you show frustration and stagnation.

3. Tell your story, not someone else’s

Michael Margolis, founder of Get Storied, says, “Your story is your brand. You have to get others to believe and identify with your story. When you can do that — the need to persuade, convince, or sell disappears.” We all have a unique story to tell and our story is what makes us authentic. Of course others can relate to our story because it may be similar, but it is never exactly the same. Each story is unique. Fellow Reach Master Strategist Walter Akana refers to this as your “brand DNA” and to discover it you need to unravel your life stories to find the themes that make you unique.

4. Be real online (and off)

In an interview last year, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said “The social web can’t exist until you are your real self online.” Just like in the real world, being yourself online takes courage. It takes the willingness to be transparent. Use social media to portray the real you. Avoid nicknames and avatars and use your real name and a professional head-shot. Don’t just brag and boast. Listen and engage others as well.

Peter Sterlacci, combines personal branding strategy with cycling imagery to empower on-the-move careerists in global companies in Japan to shift gears, get out of the saddle, and sprint to career success.


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