Listen to the full podcast episode to understand the important role self-awareness plays in your personal brand and learn my simple 3-step practice that will help elevate your personal brand experience.
We are all familiar with companies and their different brands. Brands instantly connect us to certain feelings and expectations. Take Tesla for example: this brand is all about cutting-edge innovation. The Disney brand is a joy and delight. When you think of Disney, you know what experience you will have.
Just like well-known companies, do you realize that you as an individual have a personal brand experience, too?
I didn’t think I’d be sharing this, but I want to tell you about my experience with a recent purchase from a new brand. I ordered a purse from an online company. When it arrived, I opened the box and there was a message reading: Your experience begins.
There were many layers to the opening experience. The purse was wrapped as a gift to me with a personalized letter in a handwritten script, there was a lot of beautiful tissue paper, and it was all inside a gorgeous, luxurious, and royal navy blue box. The company also included a surprise gift — a credit card case. Inside, they’d placed a high-quality business card from them with a lifetime guarantee and an address to use if the purse ever needed to be fixed.
The company had strategically placed two of these cards in different places which signified to me how much they cared about my delight with my experience of their product. I’m exposed to many different brands, but this one really got me thinking about brand experiences.
Let me explain how you have a personal brand experience, as well.
When coaching leaders at companies, I often interview the individuals who work with an individual within the company and I ask them this question: When you think of this person, what one thing comes to mind that describes your experience of them? What I find amazing is there’s always repetition in the answers that I collect. I may interview 6-8 different individuals and there’s always a theme.
In essence, the interview process hones in on the individual’s personal brand. It ultimately answers the question: Who are they to others? Notice I didn’t ask how their work, product, or services are. Although the product we create or the service we perform is important, what’s just as important is who we are being in the delivery. What is another’s experience of us? Why? Because you yourself are an experience.
When you understand this, the next natural question to ask yourself is, “What experience do people have with me? What do I bring beyond what I’m doing or providing?”
I can’t tell you how many people don’t know or have ever even considered this before.
One of the traits of a conscious leader is that they realize it’s not just what they accomplish or achieve, but who they are being while they do it.
In other words, how do people feel in your presence?
Does your personal brand delight others?
Or, does it drain them?
We all know someone in our lives who after interacting with them, you feel more exhausted or drained than elevated. The worst part is the individual usually has no idea of what they’re known for.
Each of us has a responsibility to be awake, to be conscious and this begins with becoming more self-aware each and every day.
I believe the answer to all of our problems from a national level to a personal level is this: our ability to be self-aware and awake.
If you haven’t given thought to your personal brand, I have a practice that you can use to hone in on the experience you bring to all of your interactions so that you can elevate your personal brand.
The first step is to ask yourself: Who am I being while I do what I’m doing?
In your daily interactions, are you simply focused on getting it done, or are you deliberate about the experience you bring as well? To do this, simply look back at the interactions you’ve had within the last 24 hours. What do you think those on the receiving end felt when they were with you? Is that an experience you want to be associated with you?
Since it can be difficult to see ourselves accurately, I also recommend a more straightforward approach. Ask a friend or a trusted coworker this: If you had to describe who I am known for being, what comes to mind? If you had to describe what your regular experience is with me, what is that?
The second step is to identify the personal brand you actually want to promote.
How do you want people to experience you? Maybe you want to be the go-to expert, the person who sweeps people off their feet, or the one who gets things done. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but you do need to know how you want because you can’t hit a target you can’t see.
This step is where you identify who you are, what you’re bringing to the table, and the experience you want others to have with you.
The third step is to make a list of the 5-7 things that will help you bring forth that experience for others consistently and elevate your personal brand.
An important aspect of elevating your desired personal brand experience is to be intentional. To do that, you have to know the things that will deliver that experience on a day-to-day basis.
How will you surprise and delight others’ experiences with you? There are so many ways to surprise and delight in your workplace and your community. This step calls you to get specific on what those will be.
Just like the company that sent me the purse. They defined the 5-7 things that they do to surprise and delight their customers and they did them. That’s what I’m asking you to do.
Some of those things may look like this:
- streamlining a process
- making something easier because you saw the opportunity
- sharing a compliment publicly at a team meeting
- grabbing a coffee for someone who has been sitting at their desk fighting a tight deadline
- doing something that needs to be done even when you haven’t been asked
All-in-all, your personal brand is a pulse check on who you are being and how people experience you.
This matters because it either elevates others — your co-workers, clients, or family members – in the organization, in the community, or in your family — or it diminishes them. There is no neutral. You either contaminate or contribute. The last thing you want is to be unaware of who you are as an experience to others.
Our #1 responsibility in this lifetime is to wake up and elevate the consciousness of the world. That may seem lofty but it can be done every day in each of your interactions by bringing a little surprise and delight.
You are more than what you do or the products or services you provide. Who you’re being matters!
In this episode I share:
- 3 actionable steps to improve self-awareness and elevate your personal brand
- Self-reflective prompts to analyze others’ experiences of you
- My personal experience of surprise and delight while shopping with a new brand
- Several ways to add surprise and delight to your personal brand experience
Resources and related episodes:
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- Connect with Rita on LinkedIn.
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About Rita Hyland
With over 20 years of experience as an executive and leadership coach, Rita helps leaders — emerging and established — excel in corporate and entrepreneurial environments.
Rita believes if leaders were more clear about how transformation really works and more intentional about creating what they want, their impact, success, and influence in the world would be unstoppable.
Through her coaching programs, private coaching, and masterminds, Rita shows leaders how to win consistently and create the impact and legacy they desire.
Central to Rita’s work is the understanding that you will never outperform your current programming, no matter how strong your willpower.
When you learn to use Rita’s proprietary Neuroleadership Growth Code, a technology that uses the best of neuroscience and transformational psychology to hit the brain’s buttons for change, YOU become both the solution and the strategy.
Her mission is to end talented, hard-working, and self-aware leaders spending another day stuck in self-doubt or confusion and not contributing their brilliant work and talent the world so desperately needs.