If you’ve listened to our podcast before or taken our free personal brand assessment, you know whether you want one or not, you have a personal brand. You might not be making money off of it, like famous personalities. You may not even know what it is. But you have one.
In its most simple form, your personal brand is your reputation. It’s the climate and energy you bring with you every time you attend a meeting, speak to a leader, or speak to someone on your team. And if people don’t like the climate you bring, then it doesn’t matter how many great ideas you have — they won’t buy into your ideas if they can’t buy into you.
Here are five simple ways you can elevate your personal brand today.
1. Show up on time.
Have you ever been to a meeting and one of the attendees was late? What about when it’s the organizer? At work and in life, being late is the fastest way to tell someone, “I don’t value your time.” That may be the furthest thing from the truth. You might deeply value their time, but when you consistently show up late or unprepared, people will stop coming to your meetings and will stop inviting you to theirs.
2. Read the energy of the room.
Next time you’re making a presentation or speaking in a meeting, take a mental note of what the energy level is on a 1 to 10 scale. Try to come in one step above everyone else. If everyone is at a 6, bring your energy up to a 7. But don’t bring it up to a 10 because that might be too much for people to handle. And certainly don’t come in below a 6 — nobody wants to be around a Debbie Downer. This tip might seem odd at first, but try it next time you find yourself in a meeting. We promise it’ll work.
3. Smile when you talk.
Having a smile is a natural ice breaker. But if you’re laser-focused on presenting your idea, it’s something you might forget to do. Next time you’re watching someone speak on television, whether it’s a news anchor, home shopping network host, television pastor, etc., mute them and notice how they look. If they’re highly trained, they’ll be smiling. If they’re not, then they’ll just look angry. It’s a small fix that takes a bit of conscious intentionality, but smile!
4. Be a better listener.
There are a lot of ways you can challenge yourself to be a better listener. When you ask people sincere questions and listen to their answers, you make them the hero, and that goes a long way. If someone tells you about the trip they took to Italy, you don’t always need to chime in with your story about your trip to Italy. The conversation doesn’t always need to come back to you.
5. Dress for the environment.
Jeff is a pastor who speaks to large crowds on Sundays. David once said something to him that changed his perspective on the pastor dress code. David noted a lot of pastors can appear “sloppy” looking when they preach in jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops. It’s not because the pastor is sloppy, it’s that he or she is preaching to a group of people who have to dress up all week for work. So, for the audience, it’s hard to take someone seriously who doesn’t make the effort to look polished for their job.
From that moment, Jeff committed to making sure he always looks put together on stage and therefore, relatable to his audience. If people are distracted by his clothing, they’ll miss the lessons he’s trying to teach.
On the other hand, if Jeff wore a tuxedo to preach, he’d be way overdressed and equally distracting. Match your dress style to what’s appropriate for the event and room.
It can take a while to hone in on what you want your personal brand to be. With awareness and intentionality, your brand will be exactly where you want it. Get started on finding your personal brand by taking our free assessment!