You get hired, you get fired, you go up the ladder and you are able to attract investors for your start-up – all this based on the brand you carry, we call this the personal brand. Stronger brands attract people, opportunities and envy while weaker ones break the existing ones and stays aloof of networking and consequently hinders the chances of success.
Last week I wrote on what a personal brand is and how the images of perception deceives the person who wants to be perceived in a certain and gets perceived in another manner. Today I will discuss the crucial element that helps you build a strong personal brand.
Let’s say that you lost your job due to recession and you were literally in the ditches. You start listening to volumes of Anthony Robbins’ sermons while a friend helps you find an idea and get started with your own setup. Eventually your start-up springs from the ditches and you have made a name for yourself and hefty profits for your investors. At this time, who would you perceive as a stronger brand? Anthony Robbins delivering lectures aimed to be at 40,000 feet or the friend who stood with you in the trenches and helped you move out of it.
The answer is obvious isn’t it? Your friend has a stronger brand in your perception. How did he do it whereas the ever-so-popular self-acclaimed self-help guru failed to influence a strong perception in you?
The answer is in the fruit that’s borne. Your friend made a difference in your life, he contributed and made a positive difference in your life. So, he earned a stronger brand over Anthony Robbins in your mind’s eye. But this is not a universal case. Robbins could have a stronger brand with some of the others he might have interacted with. In short, brand perception is subjective and individualistic. What you perceive as a strong brand may not be a strong brand for your neighbour.
To improve your personal brand, put in the effort to make a difference in others’ lives. It is a material world that we live in. Only when you are able to support others, your brand value improves. The bigger the intensity of support you provide, the stronger the perception which results in a stronger brand. And, strong personal brands stay rooted for a long long time. Likewise, weak personal brands get evaporated faster than the wink of an eye.
To conclude, identify ways in which you can help others succeed. I will also go ahead and tell you selfishly to choose the people who you wish to perceive you highly, and lend support to them accordingly. Once you build a strong enough brand, move on to the next.