5 Steps to Find Your Own Personality Brand

Coffee Heart. This image is CC0!

Some time ago, I wrote about brands from a more critical point of view. Today I want to show that having your own “personality brand” is good, nevertheless. Having your own brand helps to define your own place in life and to guide your future personal development. I want to show you that it is easy, too.

Before we go into the details, have an example. It is extremely short and targeted to the readers of this blog:

  • I am Jens Woinowski, the founder of leanself.org.
  • I can show that Lean Management can be applied to self-improvement, both at home and in your job.
  • I want a lot of satisfied readers who successfully apply Lean Self.

You can expect that your personality brand depends on context, too. This is why, before you start creating (or finding) your own brand, you should think of the target group you want to address with this brand. Possible examples are:

  • You: If you are the target group of your own brand, it helps to define your identity.
  • Family: What should your family think of you?
  • Friends: How do you want your friends to perceive you?
  • Job/business: How do you want your boss, your colleagues or your clients to see you? This is not about a possible product you are selling, which needs a brand too, but about your personality.

Once you have identified your target group, you can start to fill in the three sentences.

“I am …” describes your background. Your name is part of that, of course. More important is the role you have from the point of view of your target group. Here are some examples, one per target group:

  • You: Since you know your own name, you might want to focus on your most important character trait, e.g. “I am highly self-motivated.” Our you could focus on your values, e.g. “I am freedom-loving.”
  • Family: Again, the name is no news. What about “I am father/mother of … children.”?
  • Friends: “I am open minded and always available when you need my help.”
  • Job/business: “I am CEO of [company name].” OK, not many of you will have that role, so you can use your current role or a short job description here.

Again, some examples for each target group. You can draw from your (formal) education or your experiences to answer this question.

  • You: “I can speak three different languages fluently.”
  • Family: “I can balance the challenges of home and job life.”
  • Friends: “I can help you with your DIY projects.”
  • Job/business: “I can manage a mid-sized company and have ten years of experience with this.”

These are the examples for each target group:

  • You: “I want a job where I can use my language abilities.”
  • Family: “I want my children to learn how to organize their life by taking over responsibility for household tasks.”
  • Friends: “I want my friends to help me with things I am not so good at.”
  • Job/business: “I want to become CEO of a larger company.”

The keys to each brand, not only a personality brand, are clarity and mutuality. Clarity should be obvious. Your target group must understand what you are telling them. If in doubt, ask them.

Mutuality is not so obvious, but it is quite simple: It is about give and take. With all three parts of the “I am, I can, I want” pattern you need to meet the interests of your target group.

  • “I am …” Why would it be interesting for them, who you are? How can you make it attractive?
  • “I can …” Are your abilities helpful for your target group? Are you filling a gap for the target group? Is there a “market” for your abilities?
  • “I want …” Why would your target group help you to achieve this? When your wish is fulfilled or your objective is reached, your target group should have some benefit from it, too. Is there a win/win situation achievable?

Finally, your brand should be congruent with itself. For example, when your abilities do not fit to your wishes, you either need to consider a different brand or you need to change something in your personal approach to life or the target group.

That means the reality check of your personal brand can also lead you to gaps in your education or to a re-orientation of your goals.

Give my examples a try: Not all of them are perfect in that sense.

Would you like to share your own brand with a comment? Go ahead…

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