What do Sir Richard Branson, Barack Obama, and Suze Orman all have in common? They have each built powerful personal brands that have propelled them to the top of their businesses, their careers, and their lives. How did they do it?
Like other successful personal branders, they took the time to define, communicate, and protect their brands. You can be sure they followed all of the top ten secrets below to reach their great success. There's no magic to it: You can apply the same personal branding principles to your work and life not only to achieve your goals, but to surpass them.
You already have a personal brand whether you want one or not - simply by virtue of being you in the workplace. It's up to you to determine where your personal brand is strong and where it could use improvement. Then, it's up to you to make changes as necessary to make it as strong as possible.
Your personal brand exists in the minds of others in the way they perceive, think, and feel about you. Think about your favorite corporate brand for a moment. It can be the best "functioning" product of its kind in the world, but if the public fails to perceive it as the best, it won't be successful. So, it's critical to keep in mind that your personal brand is now what you think it is but it's what others perceive it to be.
A common misconception about personal branding is that it's self-centered and all about you. But the truth is: personal branding is all about your Audience - the person or people you most want to impact with your brand at work and in your career. Just as corporate branders must offer a benefit to consumers in order for a product to be a success, you must fill a need your Audience has in order for your personal brand to be a success on the job.
Since your personal brand exists in the minds of your Audience, the only way to determine if your brand is successful is to find out how your Audience perceives you. If there is a gap between what your Audience thinks and feels about you and what you want them to think and feel about you, your personal brand should be adjusted and strengthened.