As a politician, athlete, celebrity, executive or entrepreneur it may be obvious that developing a personal brand is essential. What may not seem as apparent is that everyone should give thought as to what their personal brand is. Branding is all about perception. If you place a negative perception about yourself, product or service into the universe, then people will perceive that as reality. Likewise if you carefully craft a positive and measured persona about who you are and what you stand for, people will take that as face value.
Creating and cultivating your personal brand is all about strategy and it can be extremely difficult and tedious. The upside however is very rewarding because it allows you to control the message about who you are. If you do not take control, others will. A great deal of introspection is required to really focus on your past behaviors and decisions, beliefs, accomplishments, short-comings and goals to build a full view of what your brand should be. For many, it’s wanting to be seen as a rising star, potential CEO or a no-bull politician ready to shake up the status quo; or simply as boxer Floyd Mayweather has said, ‘The Best Ever’. However, if your past actions do not align with your stated objective, a great deal of cultivation will be needed to close the gap. This is especially true if you have a negative online persona. Slander and negative content is easily found about many people online and it can be explosive to a person’s personal goals. Handling and defending it quickly and proactively is a must.
So now what? If you’re interested in learning how to best build your personal brand there are a few options available. There’s always the Do-It-Yourself method. If you have a marketing background, this may be a good option. If this is not the case, working with public relations firms that specialize in personal branding and reputation management can be a great solution. If you reside in the EU, it’s as easy as submitting a ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ request to Google. This essentially erases negative and misleading content about you from search results.
And don’t let all the hard work of building your brand fall by the wayside. After you’ve polished your online brand, be sure to proactively manage your online reputation. Being proactive and responding quickly to negative interpretations about your brand is key to being effective in accomplishing your goals.
Rolanda Gregory ©2016
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