Do you want to succeed in life? Personal Branding is your key to success.
Personal branding is a very important ingredient to success in your life. Are you employed by someone else or you are self-employed? Do you know yourself and how others perceive you at your place of work or in your business? Do you feel happy with the feedback you get from others? I would like you to focus on how you can brand yourself to be successful in your endeavors.
What’s personal branding?
Before I can go any further, let’s get to understand what a brand is. I know there are other definitions of the word “Brand”. But in view of the ideas I am giving you to lead a successful life, allow me to say that a brand is a collection of all the perceptions in the mind of your customers.
Your customers are your employers, who pay you a monthly salary in exchange for your services. Your customers are again the people who buy from you in your business. Your customers are also all people who relate with you in the day-to-day running of your business or at your workplace.
Now the question is, “How do they perceive you?” Do they perceive you as a corrupt person, a slow performer, one who is not resourceful, self-driven or a non-achiever? Whichever the case, you should know that for you to succeed in anything you do, you need to be perceived positively. Personal branding is therefore the act of building positive perceptions in the mind of your consumers.
How can you brand yourself to improve your service delivery?
Anything you do to build positive perceptions in the mind of your customers is what I am referring to as personal branding. There are quite many things that one can do but I let me give you only 10 basic points that you need to consider.
1. Keep time
A good number of people in this century cannot keep time. But let me ask you, “How do you feel if someone you made an appointment with at 10.00am turns up at 2.00pm?” Obviously, so many things can happen to the two parties. I do not need the answers now but one thing I guess right is that the consequences are not good.
If you are just wasting time and your valuable resources doing nothing, you will regret and have nothing to be proud of in your old age. There is no time for Africans and for Whites. We all have the same time. 99% of the time is within your control. Lost time is lost opportunity, lost wealth. People who do not keep time are a very weak brand. Cut them out of your way. They are disrespectful and can only fail you, fail your company or your business and make you lose great opportunities.
2. Be passionate
I have come across so many people, who do things for the sake of earning a living. They complain almost about everything: fellow workers, the salary, the workload,.. I just pity them. Never do something you are not passionate about. Passion is the fuel, catalyst, motivator and a key to success. If you are passionate about your job, your business, your family, your everything, the chances of succeeding are high.
People who are passionate about their work, they do not get tired and they are most of the time self-driven. They can initiate and pursue things to the end. They are enthusiastic and even in business, they always attract many customers. Do you see how good it is to love what you are doing?
3. Learn to deliver something extraordinary
Let me begin by asking you. What’s so special with you that will draw people to you? You are in business or employed by someone, what’s so special in the way you do your work that will make your customers or employers consider you as a valuable person?
Do something extraordinary to improve your brand as the best marketer, doctor, teacher, businessman, nurse, driver, administrator, etc… If you are just an ordinary person in everything you do, I assure you that you will live to regret and to be frustrated. If it’s promotion, you will never get it and so many other opportunities.
To deliver something extraordinary, you have to be reliable to your customers, to pursue what you do to the end, to renew what you do and to renew yourself. Do you see how it works?
4. Read to get knowledge, new information and new skills How often do you read?
Do you get time to read or you are like those, who say they are too busy to read? Well you can be busy but you need to know that effectiveness is what matters in life.
Read to acquire knowledge and skills and apply them to improve your livelihood and to improve your service delivery. Improved service delivery is key to good branding. Over the years, there are quite a number of things I have learnt without getting any certificate but they have turned out to be my bread winners.
5. Understand globalisation and technology
This again is a very important issue. I know a good number of learned fellows, who lag far behind in this aspect. I would like to tell you that life of a cubical slave is gone. In this era of information, one has to be up-to-date. But how will you if you cannot use the internet? How will you when you just use the computer like a mere typewriter? How will you when you fear technology?
My simple advice is that learn to look at new technology and re-engineer yourself before it’s too late.
6. Market yourself as the best
Whatever you do, do it to the best of your knowledge and ability. If you are an accountant, be the best accountant. The same with teachers, administrators, doctors, politicians, etc…
Position yourself as the best to improve your brand. Do not wait for your bosses, for your customers to take action. Remember that powerlessness is a state of mind. Do not mind about other people misinterpreting your motive when you are on the right track. Know how to market yourself, you will succeed in your endeavors.
7. Be credible
To brand yourself as a good businessman, a good worker, you MUST pass the test of credibility. If you cannot pass the credibility test, then you can never succeed in whatever you do. Trust protects you.
There are many people out there who think of earning a living out of fraudulent means. At times they are deceived by unearned monetary gains when they accumulate a lot of money. But it’s a matter of time. If you think you will harvest where you have not sawn, then you are yet to be born. Learn the law of harvest! Be honest!
8. Be an independent contractor
As you work wherever you are, whether employed by someone else or self-employed, get to understand the principle of independent contractor. You need future references for being an independent contractor.
It does not matter whether you are a boss or a junior staff, whether you are employed or self-employed. Stop thinking like an employee but see yourself as an agent. What you do at job X will become a reference point to job Y. A mason is likely to get more masonry work if his previous customers recommend him as the best mason.
Let me put it like this, you are not working for business X but you are working with that business as an independent contractor. If you choose to do something, then do it right because it will be your future reference. Good references can lead you to success in your business, in your work, in your career.
9. Have a high level of moral authority
Personal branding demands a high level of moral authority. Moral authority belongs to those people who offer themselves for the wellbeing of others. If you think you will only be to yourself, then you are mistaken.
10. Be organised
The future is for those who are organised. More people are getting educated but very few people are organised. Take it from me that acquiring good organisational skills is a key to good service delivery and to success in your business.
Learn to organise your files, your documents, your furniture, your office wall hangings, your curtains, your notice boards, etc… Learn to be organised at your work and at home. Learn to be organised with your finances and your expenditure. Good organisational skills will help you to save time and money, to reduce work related stress, to be effective, to look respectable, to minimise your costs and maximize your profits. Do you see the benefits?
I conclude by urging you to develop positive perceptions in the eyes of others to brand your self well