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So what do people say about you when you are not there? When we are actually present, we have the opportunity to influence people – perhaps to convince others that we are the right person for the opportunity, the role, the project, the deal. However, more often than not, most of the important decisions are made when we are not present – and this is where our personal brands need to stand up for us.
One way of becoming aware of how you are perceived is to observe how others introduce you. There are usually three elements to an introduction – your name, what you do, and then the interesting bit – some sort of comment about what you do or how you go about doing what you do – which demonstrates how you are perceived by the person introducing you.
The alarm bells should be ringing if you find that you are regularly introduced in a way that doesn’t represent who you are and what you do. Worse, they should be clanging loudly if you find that the people introducing you are at a total loss as to what you do – filling in the gaps with inane comments like “he’s a good egg”. So… if you are a personal trainer trying to build your client base, something useful like “meet Michael, he’s a personal trainer who’ll get you looking like Adonis in no time” could be reduced to “meet Michael, he’s wearing the coolest trainers here”.
Powerful personal brands need to be four things – the first is compelling – or in other words – interesting, unique, memorable, different. The second is authentic – we need to be able to ‘show’ not ‘tell’ if we are to be believable. The third is consistent – without a consistency, we will not be trusted. And lastly, we need to be well-known to our market or audience. There is little point in being incredibly good at what you do if no one knows about you.