How to build your personal brand

Typically, we don’t think much about “brand building” as we progress through our day.  Each experience leaves an impression of our personal brand, both upon those who interact with us directly and those who observe us dealing with others. We’ve all seen that guy barking at the person making his coffee. Everyone in line is forming an impression of who he is. Being intentional about what kind of impression you leave is critical. How we behave in every interaction and relationship is an opportunity to reinforce the key values we want associated with our name.

Here are three steps to thoughtfully build your personal brand through how you behave in your relationships:

  1. Define your brand.  Simply put, what would you want someone to say about you?  Expert, trustworthy, kind, thoughtful? Pick the three adjectives that would make you beam if others said them about you. Now prioritized them. We can’t be everything at all times, but knowing what is most important is critical to building your brand
  2. Define behavior. If you want to come across as trustworthy or expert, think about the behavior that will reinforce these attributes.  For example, if you want to be perceived as trustworthy: always show up on time, deliver great follow-through, keep confidences, admit to errors and take ownership of mistakes.  If you want to be perceived as expert: be well versed and well read in your area of expertise, write about it, and speak on the topic.
  3. Take action.  Now that you know the key attributes of your brand and the behavior necessary to reinforce them, take action.  If you want to be trustworthy show up on time, be reliable, and do the things that make you trustworthy.  If you are expert, blog about it, retweet other’s content on the subject, send articles to people in your network and give advice to those who seek it out.

Building personal brand through relationships takes time.  But remember, each time you act with your brand’s integrity in mind, you help reinforce who you are and shape how others perceive you.  Compound your brand by consistently and intentionally showing who you are in all your interactions.