Personal brand: build it and own it!

What comes first into your mind when you hear about ‘personal brand’? How is that different from reputation and what could be its added value? During our last event, we had Stephane Brun and Nancy Jans to give us tips and tricks on building a personal brand and presenting it to the world.

3 easy steps to build a personal brand

Stéphane is an entrepreneur and a recruitment specialist in finance and technologies in Luxembourg. His strong belief is that there’s one thing that makes us all unique and that’s ourselves – our talent, our skills, our personality, our values and principles.  So, how do we mix them all together to build a strong personal brand? In three easy steps, he said:

1. Define your aspirations – your objectives and your vision

There’s a quote saying that ‘no wind blows in favour of a ship without direction’. Be intentional about where you want to go. This is the cornerstone of everything. Employee, entrepreneur, job seeker – you must have a vision of what you want to achieve.

A question that could help you is: what do you want to be know for in 5 years from now? Yes, this a question that makes us roll our eyes during interviews, but at the same time it’s a great question you can ask yourself.

Imagine you’re at an event and someone is introducing you to some strangers, how would you like to be presented?

2. Leverage your uniqueness

As Stephane puts it, you need to own your expertise and feel proud of it. Own who you are. Most of the time people mix reputation and personal branding. Reputation is what people say about you when you’re not in the room – you can’t control it. But you can control personal branding – this is how YOU communicate about yourself, how you market who you are.  What makes you unique are your values, principles and guidelines because when you’re lost and confused, you go back to them.

Think about your unique value proposition: what are your natural talents? Remember what were you really good at as a child: writing, speaking to people you didn’t know, making connections, playing an instrument, analysing, solving problems. Also, what are your skills? What could you do well enough to get paid for? In an ideal world, you should have a balance of natural talent and skills. Once you have figured it out, write down the following sentence and fill in the gaps with what’s particular to you:

I use my natural talent of … and my … skills to make a real impact in the … sector/industry.

This is your unique value proposition

3. Communicate to the rest of the world

This one is the most complicated one – how do we overcome the noise? Stephane advised to not be afraid to expose our knowledge. Three tips to help you better communicate your personal brand:

  1. Build a network
  2. Speak at events and within groups
  3. Write articles and/or make videos to share your knowledge with others.

How can public speaking influence your personal brand?

Nancy Jans is an Advanced Communicator Silver and Advanced Leader of the Bossuet Gaveliers, the oldest Toastmaster Club in Continental Europe. Her advice when going on stage or just in a presentation is to not disguise and be yourself. When you’re uncomfortable, people notice and find it odd. Watch the videos below to find out more about the importance of coming across as honest and the tone of voice in presentations:

Nancy Jans on the tone of voice

Nancy Jans on why is important to feel comfortable