I don’t know about you but sometimes I can get lost in networking groups and swamped in social tagging. It can be too much. We can get confused, feel batted about, feel a bit overwhelmed.
We live in a fast-paced, digital and incredibly overpopulated world, and it is bloody noisy out there.
Noisy in terms of social content, video traffic and people.
When developing your own personal brand, it’s almost impossible not to seek the feedback and opinions of others. In fact, it can be an incredibly useful tool in making sure that your outward brand appearance is congruent with your personal brand values – this is something I look at in more detail in my Personal Brand Power course.
But this is where your brand can get blurry. Other people’s opinion, ideas and feedback are lovely; it is great to see social engagement or get comments from people about what they like and what they don’t like. But it is important to recognise that they are only opinion, ideas and comments.
They shouldn’t steer your ship.
You steer your ship.
And it’s not just when others give you feedback that your Personal Brand can start to veer off course. We also get distracted by current affairs, changes in our own lifestyle or other rabbit holes.
Should I weigh in on the #metoo debate?
What about my switch to a #veganlife?
What are my experiences with #mentalhealth?
What about making sure I have social content that reflects that it’s National Proofreading Day so I can capitalise on extra exposure and traction?
You can do all these things, but only if they reflect and feel a part of your brand.
Do these campaigns, and content ideas reflect your core values, or are they a fluffy of activity that could derail your longer-term brand identity? You might jump on the bandwagon and end up being carried in the wrong direction, leaving your brand out of focus for you and your audience.
Personal brand should be considered, and always come from a place of truth inside you. If you are touched by a certain social movement or campaign that falls well within your experience or values then, by all means, share your thoughts and contribute to the discussion.
But if it something that exists outside of yourself, or you find yourself making a knee-jerk reaction to a trendy topic you’re not fully informed on, you might want to think twice.
I like to think of it like high-street fashion. Whenever I have bought something trendy, or something other people have thought would look good on me, I rarely wear it. It never seems to feel right, I don’t feel great in it and end up giving it to charity or to a friend. However, I know the type of clothes, colours and designs that suit me, so when I’m out shopping the items that I know I will love and enjoy just seem to pop out to me.
You can approach your personal brand in the same way; refining your focus, finding what fits you and acting consistently.
When listening to the advice of others – especially about your personal brand – always remember to ask yourself;
Who are they and where are they in their life.
Are they aspirational to you?
What is the intention behind the advice?
Building a successful personal brand requires you to keep your own feelings and thoughts in the centre of your mind, and to trust in your own intuition. It’s not about reacting to anything and everything that crosses your path. Do this, and your brand will remain crystal clear to everyone, including you.