Personal Branding, Image and Perception
When it comes to personal branding the terms image, perception and personal brand are often used interchangeably to mean the same thing, but do they?
Your personal brand is the you, the real you.Your values, beliefs,vision and your character. Everyone has a brand good or bad, whether you know it or not.
Image is the reflection of your brand (the you). It’s what people see.
Perception is basically the opinion people form about you from what they see (i.e.from your image).The image and perception people have of you is usually not very far off from your brand.
When it comes to personal branding many people focus on changing and managing their image and perception instead of managing and strengthening their brand.Trying to change your image without really changing who you really are is not sustainable.
So how do we truly re-brand or strengthen our personal brand?
Forget image or perception. Stop focusing on changing your image and perception rather focus on changing your values,attitudes,beliefs and character; the real you. When we focus on managing our image we can easily focus on pleasing people rather than doing that which we are really convicted about.
What do you value?. Do an honest evaluation of what your values are. Values here mean the things you consider to be important to you. Now, you have to be honest with yourself and distinguish between what you wish your values were and what they really are. All of us have values, good or bad, conscious or subconscious.You could value relationships, money, hanging out with your friends, pleasing people, stability, order, pleasure, money, hard work, convenience, flexibility, the list is endless. Be real and list what you value. Do you like your list ? Do you want to change them ? Your values form an integral part of your personal brand.
What are your beliefs? I’m not talking about religion although region does influence our beliefs. I’m referring to the beliefs that you hold regarding different pertinent issues in life. For example, what beliefs do you hold regarding money, work, people or the future?, again the list is endless. Whatever you believe influences your actions and character and forms your personal brand.
What are your convictions, put differently what do you stand for? We all stand for something whether good or bad. What do you stand for ? What reputation do you have? Do you want to change what you stand for, what you are known for?
When we focus on improving our brands, our image and the perception people have of us will improve.