Personal branding extends beyond mere self-perception; it is a strategy to align your idea of who you are with the world's perception of you, creating a powerful and resonant image that connects with your audience.
I'll admit, as an introvert, I've been out of touch with how others see me. I have a very rich internal life. I'm always thinking, reflecting and deep in introspection.
On the other hand, I've spent little time, until three years ago, seeking insight on how others experience me and see me.
The insights gained have been a game-changer.
My experience makes me wonder:
How many of us, focused more on our inner world, miss out on the valuable insights from how others see us, and how can we use these insights to enhance our personal brand?
I invite you to seriously consider this question and explore possible answers with the following guidance:
The misconception of self-centric branding
For years, I believed that my personal brand was entirely under my control - a projection of my inner thoughts, values, and perceptions.
However, this self-centric view was like walking with blinders. It limited my ability to connect with others on a meaningful level.
We often forget that our brand is not just what we say about ourselves, but also what others say about us when we're not in the room.
The power of external perception
When I began to understand the power of external perception, it was as if a new world opened up.
I was in a HR coaching program and while I learned alot about the importance of understanding the needs of the clients I wish to serve, pressing HR problems in business and other things, what resonated most with me was an assessment the coach gave us to complete.
The results helped me see that it's not about changing who you are to fit into a mold; it's about understanding how my unique traits and qualities resonate with others.
So, the good news is, you don't have to lose yourself in your attempts to brand yourself. Instead, you can enhance your best qualities by incorporating the perspectives of those you wish to influence or serve.
The Fascinate Assessment - a powerful tool for insight
This is where the Fascinate Assessment comes into play, this was the assessment that provided a revelation in my own personal branding journey.
Developed by Sally Hogshead, it's a tool that helps you understand how the world sees you at your best.
It's not a personality test but a tool to measure your personal brand's most engaging and compelling qualities.
When I took the assessment, I discovered that my primary advantage is 'Trust', which means my brand traits are reliability, consistency, and sincerity.
People see me as dependable and trustworthy - qualities I had undervalued in my self-assessment but were, in fact, my strongest assets in the eyes of others.
How did I know?
I cross-referenced the results with performance evaluations, I asked my manager for feedback and paid attention to words used to describe me when working with clients.
This has been a HUGE revelation for me. I am leaning more into these qualities in my branding, and have seen significant results at work such as positive performance reviews, bonuses, special projects and raises.
I look forward to seeing results as I build my business as well.
Strategies for aligning your brand
I won't pretend to be a personal branding guru.
I can only share what has impacted me and made a difference for me personally.
Aligning your personal brand with external perceptions starts with embracing your strengths as seen by others. Then you want to enhance and showcase the traits that are proven to be valued by those you serve or wish to serve.
For me, it meant positioning myself as a reliable and trustworthy figure in my field through projects I take on, articles I write and clients I work with.
Seeking feedback, reflecting on how it aligns with your self-image, and then tweaking your personal branding to highlight these qualities, is key.
Understanding and embracing the external perception of 'Trust' has totally transformed my approach to personal branding.
For those who naturally turn inwards, this external focus can be challenging but incredibly rewarding. Your personal brand is the intersection of your inner identity and how you're perceived by the external world.
Finding harmony in these perspectives is crucial and worthwhile.
I encourage you to explore your primary advantage through the Fascinate Assessment.
Understand how the world sees you and harness those insights to refine your personal brand. Create a personal brand that is not only true to who you are but also resonates powerfully with those around you.
I hope you've enjoyed this article. If you need additional support, I'd love to help!
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