Regardless of whether you like it or not, you have both a personal and professional brand. Those who come into contact with you are continuously making judgments about you and your professional value that are based on their perceptions of your integrity, ethics, values, etc. Such perceptions can be the result of direct experiences or, more commonly, what people have heard or seen that is related to you or your business.
Before we delve into the importance of personal and professional brands, let us back up and establish clear definitions for the terms “personal brand” and “professional brand”.
In my work around “magnetic brands,” I teach that a personal brand is your unique promise of value as a fellow citizen of your community and the world. Building a powerful personal brand requires deep introspection and upward action based on the lessons learned during your introspection. Working with a coach is a great way to make powerful strides in distilling lessons from introspection and implementing the lessons learned.
A professional brand is your promise of professional contribution to your clients, customers, employees and employers. Building a powerful professional brand requires a clear and compelling vision for your professional success and doing what it takes to attract others to your vision.
A magnetic brand is the combination of your personal and professional brand. A magnetic brand is built on what others expect of you as a citizen of world and how they expect you to “show up” in professional settings. Your magnetic brand lets people know what ‘you promise to deliver’ when hanging-out on a personal level, interacting in social settings, collaborating on a professional level and giving or receiving instruction in an work environment.
Building a magnetic brand requires you to go through a three step process.
Step One: You must be clear about your personal and professional values; personal and professional vision; business and life mission; and personal and professional goals.
Step Two: You must be aware of the perceptions that others have of you and your business.
Step Three: You must develop strategies and techniques to bridge the gap between the clarity you have articulated in Step One and the perceptions that exist in Step Two.
Having a powerful magnetic brand is imperative for service professionals (e.g., lawyers, accountants, financial planners, business coaches, insurance agents, business consultants, etc.) whose success is tied to their likability and expertise. I find that while most professionals understand the importance of a powerful personal brand, they often do not go far enough in building a powerful professional brand that is thoughtfully prepared, positioned, packaged and promoted.
The combination of a strong personal brand and powerful professional brand blossoms into a magnetic brand that moves you from a state of chasing clients to a place of attracting them. A magnetic brand is what is required to build a sustainable thriving professional service business.