Brands. We engage with them all day every day. Google, Apple, Samsung, Commonwealth Bank, Qantas, Telstra and Coles are very much part and parcel of life.
A brand is a set of values that reflect a company or a product’s identity – the human characteristics that we identify with, relate to and commit our loyalty to. As individuals, we also have our own personal brand, although many of us aren’t too comfortable with what that means or represents.
Optometrist Dr. Ayesha Kathriachchige understands the value of having a personal brand as it reflects “the way we, as individuals, present (ourselves) to patients, staff, managers and suppliers – the way people remember us… I realise how important my personal brand has been to my success,” she wrote in mivision late last year.
Every day the way we represent ourselves – how we dress, speak and portray ourselves online and offline – is shaping our brand. It may not be the story we want to tell, but it’s the one people are relating to and getting to know.
You can’t choose to opt out of having a personal brand. Everyone has one and is responsible for the expression and perception of that brand
Your personal brand tells the story of who you are; so how do you shape that brand and share your story in the way you want to be perceived? Whether you work for yourself, a corporate or an independent, it is your voice. It is an extension of yourself. It’s your story.
There’s no way around it. You can’t choose to opt out of having a personal brand. Everyone has one and is responsible for its expression and perception.
“You too are a brand, whether you know it or not. Whether you like it or not,” says entrepreneur Marc ‘Eck?’ Milecofsky.
As an optometrist or ophthalmologist, you can build your brand among peers by speaking at conferences and writing articles and papers for peer and trade journals. But that’s just the start…
Be Active Online: Comment on posts and articles. These are read and build your reputation. Almost 90 per cent of people don’t comment or post, they are passive ‘lurkers’ who read content.
Tell Your Story: Share changes in your life from point A to point B with your audience. Unearth the stories worth telling and tell them.
Personal Brand Statement: Package your story into a couple of sentences – this will become your ‘elevator pitch’ for inclusion with your profile.
Do Things. Tell People: Most people won’t remember what you’ve done unless you tell them, so share your milestones.
Impression Management: Share your voice on different social media platforms in different ways: business pages for your business profile, personal for personal.
Your voice needs to add value to the lives of others. It needs to teach yes, but not only that, it needs to entertain, engage and inspire.
Your personal brand is telling your story. How that story is told is up to you.
1. How to Build a Personal Brand that Stands Out. Kumar. Sep 2017
2. Building Your Brand as an Optometrist. Dr. Kathriachchige. Mivision. Nov 2017
3. The 90-9-1 Rule for Participation Inequality in Social Media and Online Communities. Neilson. Neilson Norman Group. Oct 2006