Why personal branding is so important

In my travels as a speaker, I find that wherever I am in the world, successful business is based more than ever on the positive experience that the client or customer has. This experience will always be as a result of interaction with another person. In the meetings industry, people will talk about the experience they have had with you all the time, and this in turn will have a direct impact on your business.

Research from the Institute of Customer Service showed us last year that in the retail sector there’s a direct correlation between the customer experience and retail figures and performance. It doesn’t take much for us to work out that this would be similar in most sectors. We’ve had the old cliché ‘people buy people’ for years, but never has it been truer than now. We search for trust in any relationship and we’ll get this in a number of ways.

I’ve been speaking on the topic of personal branding and visible leadership for the past 10 years. The topic has evolved hugely in that time and right now it’s a subject that’s at the top of agenda for many of my global clients. My ‘Walking TALL’ methodology addresses the challenge of being the best you can be authentically and building a personal brand that creates consistency of communication, positive impact and inner confidence that in turn creates positive customer experience.

We use seven principles to create a tailored keynote or workshop that provides the audience with a fun yet powerful message with practical tools and up-to-date insights to maximise their corporate brand via people behaviour. Without addressing the people element of the corporate brand, you could be leaking large quantities of brand investment without realising it.

Those seven principles start with Who You Really Are – putting the brakes on and defining what you really stand for and what you bring to the table. In order to reach career and business goals, you need to be clear about, and have confidence in, your authentic brand and what makes you different. By being clear about this you’ll take people with you more effectively. The other principles include the power of that first impression, silent indicators, voice impact, dress and appearance, and visibility, and then being consistent with your brand.

It’s no longer good enough to do a good job – this alone won’t differentiate you. You need to manage your career more like an entrepreneur than ever before and take conscious control of getting to where you want to be. Today, leadership is about building your profile and visibility as well as the traditional leadership skills. However, doing this authentically is crucial and managing your brand online is an important element too. Walking TALL provides the system for achieving this.

When we look at how David Beckham has achieved the accolade of ‘one of the most valuable personal brands in the world’, we realise that a key reason for this is the true authenticity that comes across and the consistency with which this is portrayed. If he has the odd slip-up, it’s quickly forgotten about and swept away. How much are you adding to your personal brand bank account every day so that when you need to make a withdrawal it has little negative impact?

Act today, put yourself on a conscious track and think about what layers you are adding to your brand every week that reinforce the way you want to be perceived, because it’s authentic.

Lesley Everett is an international keynote speaker and thought-leader on personal branding and reputation management. She’s highly rated as a speaker, author, columnist and media personality. Everett is the founder and creator of the well-respected brand Walking TALL – a proven personal branding and executive presence methodology that has been delivered in 20 countries and four continents to date.

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