Editor’s View: “What does your personal brand say about your business?”

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Branding. It’s a word we hear all the time, and perhaps are sick of talking about, but it’s something many people in business are only scratching the surface of.

Branding is all around us. We now live in a world where the average person sees between 3,000 to 5,000 pieces of advertising a day. That’s 3,000-5,000 pieces of deliberate branding placements. Add to the mix logos seen on clothing and accessories, it’s clear that branding is in escapable, and it’s expanding.

Furthermore, its not just businesses that have a brand identity. Now, individuals do too.

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I recently read an article on Forbes called ‘25 things that are part of your brand — whether you like it or not’. The article is all about personal branding, and the author starts by writing this sentence, which I feel some of you reading this might be thinking: “I understand completely why people say ‘I don’t want a personal brand. I’m a person, not a bottle of ketchup!’

Her response?! “Anyone could sympathise with a person who says ‘I don’t want to label myself,’ but the fact is that we all carry labels. We don’t have a choice.”

The author, Liz Ryan, says your brand is like a shadow that follows you around. Some opinions will be formed about you that you have no control over.

She writes in the article: “You get to decide how to describe yourself in your resume, on LinkedIn, on your business card and in your conversations with people you meet. These are all interactions that establish your personal brand — but there is much more to your personal brand than just the words you choose to describe your profession.”

The list of things that are part of your personal brand include some obvious points — such as your name (and nicknames), your age, your political and religious views, your values, and the organisations you choose to support.

Other points may surprise you, such as your pet, parenting style and moods.

The truth is, people have now started to analyse everyone around them, and with the world of social media, it’s getting hard to create a fake brand. Instead, the labels put on us are very real and very personal.

So, what does your label say about you, and your brand? Moreover, what does it say about your business? We all have a brand, it’s best to embrace it rather than ignore it, and use it to boost business in the future.

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