How to Build an Authentic Personal Brand by Prof. Hubert Rampersad, PhD

How to Build an Authentic Personal Brand by Prof. Hubert Rampersad, PhD
August 9, 2011 Hubert Rampersad, PhD

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to propose an organic, holistic and authentic Personal Branding model that is in harmony with your dreams, life purpose, values, passion, competencies, uniqueness, genius, specialization, characteristics, and things that you love doing. It will help you to build and cultivate an effective Personal Brand that you want to project in everything you do.

Design/Methodology/Approach – Recent Personal Branding models have been reviewed. These models seem to focus primarily on personal marketing (selling) and are not authentic, which can turn into an ego trip and a dirty business. A new holistic approach has been developed based on the author’s own experience and success story.

Findings – The results imply that having a strong authentic Personal Brand is a very important asset in today’s online, virtual, and individual age. By taking control of your brand and the message it sends you will affect how others perceive you. This will help you to actively grow and distinguish yourself as an exceptional professional.

Practical implications – Having a great Personal Brand identity can make you a big winner; or a big looser if your Personal Brand doesn’t reflect your true character and if you don’t deliver on your related promise. Not delivering on your promise is a secure way to ruin your reputation and career. You need to commit yourself to live and act according to your authentic brand promise and be careful to ensure that you can deliver. If you don’t do this, personal branding will be cosmetic, selfish, egocentric, and a dirty greedy business.

Introduction

It was branding guru Tom Peters (1997) who launched the Personal Branding movement with an essay published in Fast Company under the title “The Brand Called You. He wrote: “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are the CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc…. To be in business today, our most important job is to be the head marketer for the brand called “You”…… You are a brand. You are in charge of your brand… You need to think of yourself differently. You’re not an “employee”, you don’t “belong to” any company for life, you’re not defined by your job title and you’re not confined by your job description……. Being CEO of Me Inc. requires you to grow yourself, to promote yourself, to get the market to reward yourself.”

In life, as in business, branding is more effective, powerful, and sustainable than marketing and sales and an effective way to eliminate your competitors. It’s aboutinfluencing others, by creating a brand identity that associates certain perceptions and feelings with that identity. Branding isn’t just for companies anymore. There is a new trend called Personal Branding. Successful Personal Branding entails managing the perceptions effectively and controlling and influencing how others perceive and think of you. Having a strong Personal Brand seems to be a very important asset in today’s online, virtual, and individual age. It is becoming increasingly essential and is the key to personal success. It is the positioning strategy behind the world’s most successful people, like Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Donald Trump, Richard Branson and Bill Gates. It’s therefore important to be your own brand and to become the CEO of your life.Everyone has a Personal Brand but most people are not aware of this and do not manage this strategically, consistently, and effectively. You should take control of your brand and the message it sends and affect how others perceive you. This will help you to actively grow and distinguish yourself as an exceptional professional.

There are many definitions of Personal Brand(ing) in the literature, such as (Peters, 1997;Hansen, 2007; Montoya, 2005; McNally & Speak, 2003; Arruda, 2007):

       A perception or emotion maintained by somebody else about you

       A reflection of who you are and what you believe, expressed by what you do and how you do it

       Stimulating meaningful perceptions about the values and qualities that you stand for

       Influencing how others perceive you

       The value that others perceive you possess

       The sum of the expectations and associations it creates in the minds of its target audience

       An image of yourself that you want to project in everything you do.

       Eliminating the competition and making you unique and better than all your competition in the marketplace.

Having a strong Personal Brand has benefits. It:

  • Stimulates meaningful perceptions about the values and qualities that you stand for
  • Tells others: who you are, what you do, what makes you different, how you create value for them, and what they can expect when they deal with you
  • Influences how others perceive you
  • Creates expectations in the mind of others of what they will get when they work with you
  • Creates an identity around you which makes it easier for people to remember who you are.
  • Gets your prospects to see you as the only solution to their problem.
  • Puts you above the competition and makes you unique and better than your competitors in the marketplace

Most of the mentioned definitions of Personal Branding are not authentic and from a personal marketing (selling) point of view and image building, which can turn into an ego trip. Most traditional Personal Branding concepts focus mainly on personal marketing, image building, selling, packaging, outward appearances, promoting yourself, and becoming famous, which can turn into an ego trip and let you be perceived as egocentric and selfish. Personal Branding is more than just marketing and promoting yourself.

Criteria for Effective Authentic Personal Branding

Your Personal Brand should be authentic. Authentic Personal Branding is a journeytowards a happier and more successful life. Your Personal Brand should therefore emerge from your search for your identity and meaning in life, and it is about getting very clear on what you want, fixing it in your mind, giving it all your positive energy, doing what you love and developing yourself continuously. Your Personal Brand should always reflect your true character, and should be built on your values, strengths, uniqueness, and genius. If you are branded in this organic, authentic and holistic way your Personal Brand will be strong, clear, complete, and valuable to others. You will also create a life that is fulfilling and you will automatically attract the people and opportunities that are a perfect fit for you. If you are not branded in this unique way, if you don’t deliver according to your brand promise, and if you focus mainly on selling and promoting yourself, you will be perceived egocentric, selfish and a unique jerk, and branding will be cosmetic and a dirty business. Remember (Rampersad, 2008):

no vision + no self-knowledge + no self-learning + no thinking + no mindset change + no integrity + no happiness + no passion + no sharing + no trust + no love = no authentic Personal Branding

Love is an important element in this Personal Branding equation. It is about loving yourself (self-love), loving others, and loving what you do. You should love yourself in at least equal measure to others or things. This can be found in most religions: “to love others as you love yourself”. Remember what Abraham Maslow said: “We can only respect others when we respect ourselves. We can only give, when we give to ourselves. We can only love, when we love ourselves”.  Without knowing who you are (self-knowledge), it’s very difficult to love yourself and others. You need to make a positive emotional connection with yourself and find yourself interesting first, otherwise others will not make a positive emotional connection with you and will not find you interesting. With an authentic Personal Brand, your strongest characteristics, attributes, and values can separate you from the crowd. Without this, you look just like everyone else.

Sustainable, authentic, consistent, and memorable Personal Branding is related to some important criteria, which I have included in the text box below. These criteria are partly based on Peter Montoya (2005) and Rampersad (2006, 2008).

Criteria for Effective Authentic Personal Branding

Authenticity; be your own brand. You are the CEO of you. Your brand must be built on your true personality. It should reflect your character, behavior, values, and vision. It should therefore be aligned with your Personal Ambition.

Integrity; you must adhere to the moral and behavioral code set down by your Personal Ambition.

Consistency; you need to be consistent in your behavior. This takes courage. Can others always depend and count on you? Are you doing relevant things again, and again, and again? For example McDonalds’ hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and Big Macs are the same again, again, and again.

Specialization: focus on one area of specialization. Be precise, concentrated on a single cored talent or unique skill. Being a generalist without any specialized skills, abilities, or talents will not make you unique, special, and different.

Authority; to be seen as a recognized expert in a certain field, extremely talented, highly experienced, and perceived as an effective leader.

Distinctiveness; distinguish yourself based on your brand. It needs to be expressed in a unique way that is different from the competition and needs to add value to others. It needs to be clearly defined that its audience can quickly grasp what it stands for.

Relevant; what you stand for should connect to what your target audience considers to be important.

Visibility; it must be broadcast over and over again, continuously, consistently and repeatedly, until it’s embedded in the minds of the audience. It’s about repetition and long term exposure.

Persistence; your brand needs time to grow. It should be developed organically. You’ve got to stick with it, don’t give up, believe in yourself, and be patient. Great brands like Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey have taken years to become icons after a long period of dedicated work, sacrifice, courage, planning, and the patience to persist.

Goodwill; people do business with people they like. Your Personal Brand will produce better results and endure longer if you are perceived in a positive way. You must be associated with a value that is recognized as positive and worthwhile. The goodwill of Bill Gates’ brand is helping make the world a better place through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, currently the largest transparently operated charitable foundation in the world.

Performance; performance is the most important element after your brand has become known. If you don’t perform, and improve yourself continuously, Personal Branding will be a sham. Your Personal Brand should therefore be translated into your Personal Balanced Scorecard.

When you are branded according to these criteria and you commit yourself to act accordingly, your brand will be strong, you will distinguish yourself from the crowd, and your target audience will understand your brand much better. Building an authentic Personal Brand is a journey and an evolutionary and organic process. It starts with determining who you are at your core authentic self, which is based on your dream, vision, mission, life philosophy, values, key roles, identity, self-knowledge, and self-awareness, rather than inventing a Personal Brand that doesn’t reflect your true self. In the next section I will introduce an organic, holistic and authentic Personal Branding model which will help you to unlock your potential and build a trusted image of yourself that you want to project in everything you do, which is about your true values, beliefs, dream, and genius.

An Authentic Personal Branding Model

I am including below a holistic blueprint and roadmap to help you formulate and implement an authentic Personal Brand identity. This organic model consists of the following four phases (see Figure 1), which are the building blocks of a strong authentic Personal Brand:

1.    Define and formulate your Personal Ambition; this phase involves defining and formulating your Personal Ambition in an exciting and persuasive manner and making it visible. Your Personal Ambition is the soul, starting point, core intention and the guiding principles of your Personal Brand. It’s the fuel for your brand and encompasses your personal vision, mission, and key roles, related to four perspectives that should be in balance: internal, external, knowledge & learning, and financial perspectives. This will create balance in your brand and in your life. It is about identifying yourself and figuring out what your dreams are, who you are, what you stand for, what makes you unique and special, why you are different than anyone, what your values are, and identifying your genius, incorporating an introduced breathing and silence exercise. You are almost twice as likely to accomplish your brand if you write this down. Formulation is critical to building a strong brand. So take the time to think about your life and to write down your Personal Ambition statement. I have introduced a breathing and silence exercise in this method that will help you to think deeply during this soul searching process, to discover your genius, values and uniqueness, and to fix this in your mind. It will provide you life energy to translate the Personal Ambition into action. Your Personal Ambition makes your Personal Brand personal and links this to your values.


Figure 1: Authentic Personal Branding Model (Rampersad, 2008, 2009)

Some Examples                                                               

Bill Gates’ dream about 30 years ago was— A PC on each desk in each house. Recently he said, “When I was 19, I saw the future and based my career on what I saw. I have been right……Personal computers have become the most empowering tool we have ever created. They are tools of communication, they are tools of creativity … and they can be shaped by their user“. His Personal Brand started with his dream. Years ago he left Harvard, dropping out because he was too busy fulfilling his own dream to wait around for a Harvard degree.

Oprah Winfrey’s dream was/is–Using television as a service to God. This dream is the guiding principle of her brand, the emotional connection with her audience. The television talk-show host, born into poverty in Mississippi where she was sexually abused by a number of male relatives, is following her passion and genius that she defined about 30 years ago. Oprah has a reputation for doing good in the world and she walks her talk. She said: “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe. ….Hold the highest vision possible for your life and it can come true ….   Go for your highest and greatest vision for your life and align your purpose with the flow of your life. …Follow your passion…Sooner or later, your passion is going to win out and nobody can stop you’.

Albert Einstein’s dream 100 years ago was— Understanding the universe. His genius fundamentally changed the way we look at the universe. His dream was the guiding principle of his brand (the gentle genius). He saw the universe as a puzzle, and he delighted in trying to solve its mysteries. All he needed to contemplate the cosmos was his most valuable scientific tool—his imagination. He said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Mahatma Gandhi’s dream was- Achieving freedom through the path of non-violence. His Personal Brand reflected his life style and moral and behavioral code, set down by this dream. He was the man who played a significant role in achieving independence for India from the British Empire with his simplicity and strong willpower. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi believed in living a simple life. He proved to the world that freedom can be achieved through the path of non-violence. Albert Einstein said of Gandhi: “Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a man in flesh and blood once trod upon this earth”.

They all:

  • identified and leveraged their authentic, relevant, meaningful, exciting, inspiring, enduring, ambitious dream
  • responded to their dream with love and passion and added value to others
  • knew/know what made/make them unique, special, different and outstanding
  • recognized and identified their genius and expanded their limits based on this
  • succeeded by living according to their dream and doing related work they love(d)
  • had/have faith in themselves and the courage to pursue their dream, and based on this delivered peak performances and were/are exceptional

Dream it, hope it, believe it, fix it in your mind, visualize it, accept it, respond to it with love, passion, and integrity, give your peak performance to it and you will achieve it — Hubert Rampersad

2.    Define and formulate your Personal Brand; this phase involves defining and formulating an authentic, distinct, relevant, compelling, ambitious, and memorable Personal Brand promise. Take the time to write down your Personal Brand statement, which is in harmony with your Personal Ambition, and create a related compelling brand story to promote the brand calledYou. First of all, perform a personal SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and evaluate yourself after using the breathing and silence exercise (see Figure 2). The result of this analysis is the definition of your personal life style. This relates to your personal ambition and brand objectives. Your brand objectives entail what you want your Personal Brand to accomplish. These should also be related to the four mentioned perspectives: internal, external, knowledge & learning, and financial. You also need to determine your specialization, concentrating on a single core talent. Define your main specific services, your key characteristics your single leading and most powerful attribute.  Finally, determine what your audience (domain) is and what their greatest needs are. Your Personal Brand Statement entails the total of your Personal Ambition, brand objectives, specialty, service dominant attribute, and domain. It also includes your Unique Value Proposition. The next step in this second stage is to define your Personal Brand Story (Elevator Pitch), which is the essence of what you want to say about your Personal Brand in order to produce a positive emotional reaction. Finally you should design your Personal Logo, which is a single graphical symbol that represents your Personal Brand.

3.    Formulate your Personal Balanced Scorecard (PBSC); Personal Ambition and Personal Brand have no value unless you take action to make them a reality. Therefore the emphasis in this stage is developing an integrated and well balanced action plan based on your Personal Ambition and Personal Brand to reach your life and brand objectives and to eliminate any negative elements. It’s about translating your Personal Ambition and Personal Brand into your PBSC (action). Remember: vision without action is hallucination and a Personal Brand without continuous improvement of yourself based on your PBSC is merely cosmetic and will not lead to sustainable development of your potential and marketing success. Your PBSC entails your personal critical success factors that are related to your Personal Ambition and Brand and the corresponding objectives, performance measures, targets and improvement actions. It is divided into the four perspectives: internal, external, knowledge & learning, and financial perspectives. Your PBSC translates your Personal Ambition and Personal Brand into manageable and measurable personal objectives, milestones and improvement actions in a holistic and balanced way (Rampersand, 2003, 2006). Your PBSC is needed to improve and manage yourself continuously based on your Personal Ambition and Brand. It’s an effective tool that you can use to manage and master yourself and your brand. You can use it to develop improvement actions to achieve your objectives, keep track of your progress, record key brand information, explore your life and brand, define new career paths, build network of contacts, quantify and report your key accomplishments, etc.

4.    Implement and cultivate your Personal Ambition, Personal Brand and Personal Balanced Scorecard; Personal Ambition, Personal Brand, and the PBSC have no value unless you implement them to make it a reality. Therefore the next step is to implement, maintain, and cultivate your ambition, brand and PBSC effectively. You have to articulate your Personal Brandwith love and passion, be committed to change, and improve your perceived value in the marketplace and yourself continuously. In addition, try to build credibility and become an expert in your field. Get the word out through a variety of media channels, do work you love which is consistent with your Personal Brand and values, gain experience in areas of your brand in which you are weak, promote yourself, market your brand frequently and consistently, make conscious choices about the people you associate with, build a strong network, deliver on your brand promise, and in short live according to your brand promise.  To guide you in this process I have introduced a unique learning cycle called the Plan-Deploy-Act-Challenge cycle (PDAC cycle), which should be followed continuously. This is necessary to let your brand awareness grow gradually. To live in accordance with your Personal Ambition, Personal Brand and relatedPBSC through its implementation using the PDAC cycle results in a journey towards self-awareness, joy, self-esteem, and happiness. Self-esteem is about how you perceive yourself and Personal Branding is about how others perceive you. Once you implement and launch your Personal Brand, remember to continue maintaining it. You need to refine your Personal Brand promise as you go along, figuring out which parts work and which don’t, and make adjustments as necessary. You should continually refine your brand promise in the light of new insights, challenges, and experiences. There will always be competing brands ready to fill any gap you leave behind. The more you strengthen, maintain, protecting, and cultivate your brand, the more successful you’ll be. It needs constant updating to reflect the new challenges you take, the lessons you have learned, and the growth of yourself and your brand. Repeat the PDAC cycle over and over again. If you are well branded according this authentic approach you will attract the people and opportunities that are a perfect fit for you and realize your brand and life objectives. The effective combination of all these four tools and phases makes a strong, solid, and trusted authentic Personal Brand.

As we can see from Figure 1, the Personal Branding model consists of four wheels, which are interrelated and need to turn in the right direction in order to get the large Personal Branding wheel moving an evolving in the right direction successfully. The model gives us insight into both the way authentic Personal Branding can be developed effectively and the coherence between its different aspects. After the last phase is complete, the cycle is again followed in order to fine tune the Personal Ambition, Personal Brand, and PBSC with its surroundings on a continuous basis. By doing this you will constantly improve your brand and performance, and thus continuously satisfy yourself and others. Through this approach your customers, friends, colleagues, family and others will be satisfied continuously, and you will be able to make yourself and others happy on an ongoing basis.

Figure 2: Authentic Personal Branding Framework (Rampersad, 2008, 2009)

This model offers an advanced breakthrough formula and a new blueprint to build, implement, maintain, and cultivate an authentic, distinctive, relevant, consistent, concise, meaningful, crystal clear, and memorable Personal Brand, which forms the key to enduring personal success. This approach places more emphasis on understanding yourself and the needs of others, meet those needs while staying true to your values, improve yourself continuously, and realize growth in life based on this Personal Branding journey. A way of life in conformity with this system is a journey into the inner self, where your genius, values, hopes, dreams and aspirations lie quietly waiting to be discovered. The related practical tools will guide you to implement, maintain, and cultivate your brand effectively, articulate your brand with love and passion, improve your perceived value in the marketplace, become an expert in your field, and build credibility and a solid reputation within your industry. This holistic approach will allow you to view your life objectively and authentically and provides a roadmap to translate your genius, dreams and aspirations into manageable and measurable milestones and improvement actions; to create a brandthat builds a trusted image of yourself and will help you enrich your relationships with others, master yourself, unlock your potential, and develop self-esteem.

Aligning your Personal Brand with yourself

By aligning your Personal Brand with yourself you will create a stable basis for your trustworthiness, credibility, and personal charisma. Who you really are, what you care about, and were your passions lie should come out in your brand, and you should act and behave accordingly (you should be yourself) to build trust. Trust will be built faster when others believe you are real and when they witness you being true to your beliefs and aligned with who you really are. You will build trust when your values connect to your attitudes and actions and when you will be true to yourself. The result of this brand building process is a Personal Brand identity that is not a not fake, not cosmetic, not an ego trip, not selfish, not focused on just promoting yourself, and not a dirty business.

Aligning your Personal Brand with your Company Brand

By aligning and synchronizing employee’s authentic Personal Brand with their Company Brand you can realize the ‘best fit’ between employee and company. It’s about aligning themselves with their company, which has an impact on the organizational bonding of employees. This system offers an effective tool to energize them and to give them the proud feeling that they count, that they are appreciated as human beings and that they make a useful and valuable contribution to the company. Employees are stimulated in this way to commit and focus on those activities which create value for clients. This approach will create a highly engaged and happy workforce and will build a strong foundation of peace and stability upon which creativity and growth can flourish, and life within the company will become a more harmonious experience. This alignment process is an opportunity to create passion, heartfelt commitment, self-direction and motivation (which is often missed) within the company. Identification with the Company Ambition and Brand is the most important motive for employees to dedicate themselves actively to the company objectives and to maximize their potential.

My Authentic Personal Brand

I have summarized my Personal Ambition, Personal Brand statement, logo, and slogan on a small card and keep this in my pocket every day (see boxed text below). I am using this as a compass for my actions and decisions, to keep me focused, to guide me in the right direction, and to help me communicate my brand story effectively.

My Personal Ambition & Personal Brand

Personal Vision

To live life completely, honestly, passionately and to serve the needs of mankind to the best of my ability, I want to realize this in the following way:

•          Enjoy physical and mental health

•          Passionate and compassionate to inspire others, earn their respect, and always serve out of love

•          Energize innovative organizations where human spirit thrives and which model the best practices in business
performance and personal integrity

•          Experience enjoyment in my work by being full of initiative, accepting challenges continuously, and to keep on
learning

•          Achieve financial security

Personal Mission

Enjoy the freedom to develop and share knowledge, especially if this can mean something in the life of others.

Personal Key Roles

In order to achieve my vision, the following key roles have top priority:

Spouse: Rita is the most important person in my life

Father:   Guide Rodney and Warren on the road to independence

Coach:   Love to serve learning individuals and innovative organizations to unlock their potential

Student: Learn something new every day and always be a scholar

Personal Brand Statement

Linking Human Capital to Business Success

Passionate to inspire individuals to unlock their potential and dedicated to energizeinnovative organizations within the service and manufacturing industry. Using my holisticinsight and innovative Total Performance Scorecard principles, I promise to help my customers to realize their dreams.

My Personal Brand statement summarizes me. I have formulated this for myself to be used as guidance for my Personal Brand story and to keep me moving in the right direction. I have included my Personal Brand statement on my website (www.Total-Performance-Scorecard.com), my blog (rampersad.wordpress.com), in my books, articles, resume and brochures. I have packaged my dream, purpose in life, key roles, passion, skills, talents, strengths, values, unique characteristics, personality, target audience, and my service into a powerful authentic Personal Brand identity that lifts me above my competitors, differentiates me and guides my career and life decisions. In this way I am trying to eliminate my competitors and to create demand for my services. My brand statement or promise is also based on my life style and my moral and behavioral code, set down by my Personal Ambition. This makes my Personal Brand more personal and continuously creates a personal touch and bond with my target audience. It provides me energy that helps me consistently build distinctive relationships with important people in my life. It also helps me to understand myself much better.

It matters a lot what my prospects think of me. I am therefore trying to create positive perceptions and emotions in the mind of my prospects (that I am different, special, unique, and authentic) based on my brand identity and giving them reasons to work with me. In this way I am trying to influence their perception before they make up their minds about me. It will encourage their belief that I am among the best in sustainable personal and business performance management. Every time they think or hear of me, they will associate me to this leadership role. They know me for this and they can always depend and count on me. I am using my brand statement to communicate my unique service that provides a sense of value for my target audience, that is in line with my dreams, life purpose, values, creativity, passion, competencies, specialization, characteristics, and things what I love doing. This will evoke strong emotions (warmth, confidence, respect) in my target market, which is exactly how I want to be perceived by my prospects.

My Personal Brand statement starts with the slogan “Linking Human Capital to Business Success”, which entails my position and which implies a sense of value for my target market. With my position I am categorizing my Personal Brand and influencing my target market so that they identify and label me with this single idea. In this way I am positioning myself in relation to my competitors. My dominant attribute and the link to my Personal Ambition are clearly included in the statement.

My Personal Brand statement reflects who I really am, what I do well, what I love to do, for whom I am doing it, what I care about, what my passion, values, specialty, life style, work style, and dominant attribute are, and how I create value for my clients. It’s a commitment that I make to important people in my life, including my customers, about what I am willing to do on their behalf. It’s clearly defined so that my target audience can quickly grasp what I stand for. I am using my Personal Brand statement to build a truly lasting relationship with my target audience and to make an emotional connection with my customers. I am also making conscious choices based on what I truly stand for and get credit for who I am and what I believe.

When people ask me what I do, I used to say with no passion in my voices, I’m a consultant, trainer and coach in the performance management business. But that didn’t distinguish me and didn’t set me apart from the thousands of individuals who are in the performance management business and having the same skills. Why should they remember me and choose for me? To catch their attention, stand out from the crowd, and to encourage them to want to know more about me, I am now saying with love and passion:

My Personal Brand Story / Elevator Pitch

I am passionate to inspire others and I love to help my customers to unlock their potential by providing them excellence in integrated personal and business performance management and energizing them, based on my holistic insight and innovative Total Performance Scorecard principles……..

I am now telling people what I do in such a way that reflects my position and that add value to them. In this way I am trying to make an emotional connection to my potential clients and distinguish myself based on my brand. I am creating an aura that builds a distinctive picture of my brand in their minds, which makes me relevant to them. As a result they are eager to meet me and continue their conversations with me. My brand is related to knowledge, which gives my words high credibility. I am communicating what I stand for in a unique way that is different from others in my field and that gets inside people’s mind. This gives prospects a good reason to feel good about me and what I can do for them, and makes them perceive me as beneficial to them and worth meeting. I am building a trusted relationship with my potential clients and managing their expectations and perception effectively. I am attracting substantially more attention now. What do you think about my brand? Is it clear? Do you trust it? Do you value it? Do you like it? Do you remember it? Do you feel emotionally connected?  These are the main important criteria to evaluate a personal Brand.

Conclusion

Having a strong Personal Brand is a very important asset in today’s online, virtual, and individual age. As a professional, you should take control of your brand and the message it sends and affect how others perceive you. This will help you to actively grow and distinguish yourself as an exceptional professional. In this model, the authentic Personal Branding process starts with determining who you are at your core authentic self. Rather than inventing a brand that you would like to be perceived as and to sell yourself to others, this one is based on your life philosophy, dreams, vision, mission, values, key roles, identity, self-knowledge, self-awareness, self-responsibility, positive attributes, and self-management. With an authentic Personal Brand, your strongest characteristics, attributes, and values can separate you from the crowd. Without this, you look just like everyone else. If you are not branded in an authentic way, if you don’t deliver according to your brand promise and if you focus mainly on selling, packaging, outward appearances, promoting yourself, and becoming famous, you will be perceived as egocentric and selfish. Remember what Albert Einstein said: Try not to become a man of success but a man of value. The introduced model will help you to build and cultivate an effective Personal Brand that you want to project in everything you do. You will need this to make a positive emotional connection with others in order to be successful in life. With an authentic Personal Brand, your strongest characteristics, attributes, and values can separate you from the crowd.

 

References

Arruda, W. & K. Dixson (2007), Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand, John Wiley, New York.

Hansen, K. (2007), Tell Me About Yourself: Storytelling that Propels Careers, Union Institute & University,  New York.

McANally D. & K.D. Speak (2003), Be your own Brand, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco.

Montoya, P. & T. Vandehey (2005), The Brand Called You, Personal Branding Press, Tustin.

Peters, T. (1997), The Brand Called You, Fast Company, New York.

Rampersad, H.K (2009),”Be The CEO of Your Life: The Ultimate Authentic Personal Branding Formula for Standing Out from the Crowd”. Global Vision, New Delhi.

Rampersad, H.K (2008),Authentic Personal Branding:  A new blueprint for building and aligning a powerful leadership brand, Information Age Publishing, Conneticut; SaraBooks, New Delhi.

Rampersad, H.K. (2008), Authentic Personal Branding, www.brandchannel.com, New York. 

Rampersad, H.K. (2006), The Personal Balanced Scorecard; The Way to Individual Happiness, Personal Integrity and Organizational Effectiveness, Information Age Publishing, Conneticut.

Rampersad, H.K. (2003), Total Performance Scorecard; Redefining Management to Achieve Performance with Integrity, Butterworth-Heinemann Business Books, Elsevier Science, Massachusetts.

 

Hubert Rampersad is the world’s leading authority on Authentic Personal Branding and Performance Management. He is president of the Personal Branding University and Business School of the Americas.He holds a PhD in Management from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands and a MSc. in Robotics at Delft University of Technology. He is  the prominent author of the bestselling books “Total Performance Scorecard: Redefining Management to Achieve Performance with Integrity “, “Personal Balanced Scorecard; The Way to Individual Happiness, Personal Integrity and Organizational Effectiveness “, “TPS-Lean Six Sigma; Linking Human Capital to Lean Six Sigma – A New Blueprint for Creating High Performance Companies “, and many others.

Contact him at h.rampersad@tps-international.com or www.pbu-edu.org

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