Branding can be an exciting and deeply meaningful venture. However, personal branding often leaves even the most creative individuals stuck in their tracks.
How do you find a way to present yourself that truly reflects you? One that connects the dots between your past experiences and your future plans? One you feel excited to share? Where do you begin?
Years ago, Simon Sinek unleashed a powerful idea on the business community – “Start with why.” It was the subject of one of the most watched TED Talks of all time and one of Simon’s most popular books. The core concept was:
| Simon Sinek
It was a simple idea that took the world by storm. It felt revolutionary for companies to think about “why” as part of a message to engage prospects and customers. And your “why” is also an important part of your personal brand. But there is another question that goes beyond the “why” and is even more important, and that is “who” – who are you?
Imagine that we’re climbing a mountain and the journey symbolizes building your brand.
We begin this mountain climb at a place called Base Camp. This is the education that has provided the foundation for your growth. Think degrees, diplomas, certifications, coursework, and any formal or informal training. Consider how this education has prepared you for your career.
But Base Camp can be crowded —to get clearer about our brand and stand out from the crowd, we’ll have to climb higher.
Camp 2 is your Experience. This is what you’ve done and what you’ve learned by doing. List the organizations you’ve worked for, the titles you’ve held, and then consider what you’ve accomplished in each of these roles. Get specific. This is the place to demonstrate your impact and tie your work to tangible outcomes.
Still, we can climb higher.
Next are the unique skills and strengths you bring to the table. Ask yourself, “Which abilities am I most confident in?” and “What do others know they can always count on me for?” These can be technical skills, such as proficiency in a specific programming language, or soft skills, such as strong communication or leadership abilities.
Your skills are a core part of your story, but they aren’t going to make a quick impact if you lead with them in your brand messaging. To make that impact, we really need to climb higher
This camp is all about your passions and motivations. The “Why?” behind everything you do. What do you care about most? What drives you to succeed? What gives you an internal sense of purpose and meaning?
This is your inner compass — consider how it has guided you in the past and where it might take you in the future. That inspiration…is what brings us to the Summit.
At the top, your personal brand becomes a story that truly reflects who you are. Finally, think about your unique story and how it sets you apart from others. What have been the defining moments in your life so far, and how have they shaped who you are today? How have your background and experiences influenced your values, interests, and goals?
You’ll also find, that in reaching the Summit, you’ve elevated your brand from logical, left-brained messages about what you do to a much more compelling, emotional way of selling who you are. That’s the right side of the brain and that’s where you want to be – because really, people buy based on emotion and when you arrive here, people will remember you.
Are you ready to go deeper with your personal brand journey? Our online Intro to Archetypes Course provides a framework for looking at yourself and a language for telling your story. Our Personal Brand Course is available as an add-on and will guide you through the process.