Branding is rooted in authenticity. That means you need to know yourself – really know yourself – before you can start building your brand. If you start expressing your brand through marketing materials and social media before you are clear about what your unique promise of value is and who needs to hear your message, you’ll waste your time and effort.
Getting clear on your brand requires focused introspection and uncensored external feedback. The process won’t be effective unless you center your research around core elements of your brand. To help get you started, I share here some key personal branding topics along with powerful questions to ask yourself or, in some cases, to use as part of gathering feedback about you. The answers to these questions will help you get clarity on the authentic traits of your brand.
If you’re working with a coach or have a close mentor or colleague with whom you discuss career topics, you may want to engage them in your self-awareness process. Sometimes, being asked these questions (and then being asked follow-up questions to your responses) can be a productive way to gain an accurate picture of your brand promise.
Your passions energize you and make you attractive to others. When you are clear about what moves you, you can seek out ways to link your passions with what you do and how you do it. Here are questions that will help you unearth your passions.
About what topic(s) can you talk endlessly?
What’s the part of your job you love the most?
Your superpowers are the things you do better than everyone else. Often, they are things you do with little effort. They are core to who you are. Some of us discount these strengths because we deliver these skills with little effort. Here are some questions to help you uncover your superpowers:
What do you do better than anyone else?
If you were to receive an award, what would it be for?
Your values are your operating principles. They impact how you feel, behave and react. When you’re living in alignment with your most important values, you are energized, confident and available to others. When you aren’t, you create a drag on your energy. The first step in aligning your values is knowing what they are and what gets in the way of being able to live in full alignment with them. Here are some questions to help you define your values:
What are your top three pet peeves?
What situation makes you feel angriest or most annoyed?
Your purpose is connected to how you want to contribute to the world beyond your career. It describes your role in turning your vision for humanity into reality. Having a purpose helps you identify what to pursue and what to avoid. Here are some questions to help you understand your purpose:
What’s your biggest hope or dream?
If you won the lottery and didn’t need to work, how would you spend your time?
Personal branding is about standing out. If what you offer is the same as everyone else who does what you do, you are a commodity, not an irreplaceable brand. Understand and live your differentiation so you can attract the attention of those who are making decision about you. Here are some questions that will help you get clear about what makes you unique:
What aspect of the world would be different if you had not been a part of it?
What most strongly sets you apart from your peers?
Powerful questions are valuable tools for unearthing and describing the brand called YOU. Live in the inquiry so you can define and live the power of personal branding.
Via William Arruda at Forbes