We all are constantly working towards attaining our goals in life. With our skill sets and endurance in check, we endeavour to attain what we had set out for. But are we all communicating our self-worth and potential effectively? Does your message reach the observer before your words do?
All entrepreneurs nurture an idea close to their heart. It’s a dream they provide structure to, feed it with values and vision and cultivates it into a value system they believe in. What most of them often overlook is, during this journey of actualisation, they are the dream they envisioned, and they are the values they have attached to the venture.
As professionals and entrepreneurs, we are our own brand ambassadors and need to be an embodiment of our brand values. For years now, ‘personal branding’, despite being the best medium for professional effectiveness, has long beenignored.
Personal branding is not restricted to non-verbal communication—like image, attitude and action—of an individual, but extends itself to the digital space—online presence across social media, blogs, video content and so on. One needs to modulate brand value across the spectrum to remain authentic and credible.
An entrepreneur with a start-up idea in mind needs to be able to infuse credibility on his prospective clients and investors. He should be able to inspire trust in others. A venture capitalist meets many an aspiring entrepreneurs in their everyday interactions. How is that you can create that lasting impression. Simple. Be your brand. Be your values. And here is how. Personal branding.
Personal branding is not restricted to your appearance. How you craft your introduction, your body language, posture, social media presence, professional picture shared, video content, all add to your branding.
Best but simple ways in which entrepreneurs can enhance their personal image are:
Know what you truly stand for. Are you a compassionate leader or authoritative or approachable? Once you have these answers, it will be easier to create a brand aura around yourself. Always dress to project your brand.
Clothes need not be expensive but they need to fit well. Understand the right fit for your body and make sure your clothes look like you own them.
Importance of grooming can never be discredited. Clean nails, personal hygiene—body odour and bad breath —all to be taken into account.
Before going out in the market, make sure you have all the gaps filled well. Have your website in place and keep a track on downtime. When sending e-mailer, do not spam. Make your content relevant to your audience.
Be ready with an elevation speech. A 2-line introduction about your identity and what is it that you intend on doing.
Be consistent about your online presence and don’t leave it to default.
Some of the best personal brand stories were not of effective talkers. They were incredible listeners.
The author is director, Urbanista Image Consulting