by Jowanna Daley
Empower yourself by becoming your own public relations representative.
Managing your brand involves effectively aligning who you are with how people perceive you. Everyone has a brand, whether it is by default or by design. Here are four reasons to deliberately steer your reputation.
1.You Are the Most Qualified for the Job
You are the most competent person to manage your reputation because no one knows you better than you know yourself. Don’t leave your public image to chance or anyone else because you may face undesirable results. I naively let my managers control my narrative for about half my career. The good ones pushed me forward, while others had ulterior motives that led to some harsh lessons. Even some who meant to help me did more harm than good. People will push you in the direction they want you to go, and it may not be the road you intend to travel. Ultimately, your best public relations representative is you—don’t outsource the role.
2. Guide Your Dream into Reality
Are you feeling empowered yet? You get to decide where you see yourself in the future and write your script to get there. Your goal is the destination, and your plan is the map with detailed directions—all you have to do is follow your route. Not only do you control where you go, but you also have the tools to monitor your progress and adjust the course as needed. It’s that simple.
3. Present Your Best You
The biggest challenge to managing your brand is closing the gap between how you define yourself and how others perceive you. For example, you may describe yourself as straightforward, but people may see you as too abrasive. You then have the opportunity to adjust your approach so that it aligns with your self-perceptions of character.
Put on your thick skin so that your friends, family, and colleagues can comfortably give you candid feedback; it is the missing data that will allow you to present your best you.
4. Find Your People and Meet Their Needs
Part of managing your brand is knowing your audience. Warning: finding your tribe may lead to the “ugly happy cry.” When you identify your community and industry, research both their functional and emotional needs. Find out where your people are and deliver the goods.
Branding sounds intimidating, and it does require work. However, there are so many reasons to embrace managing your brand. Brand management is a fancy way to say reputation management. You control what people think of you, and that’s the reason why it’s empowering and so delightful.
Jowanna is a business and personal coach, consultant, freelance blogger, and personal brand photographer. Jowanna uses her 20-plus years of business, information technology, business analysis, and project management experience to serve solopreneurs, microbusinesses, and professionals through consulting, coaching, training, and workshops. She is also a freelance blogger who serves corporate and non-corporate
clients. Visit her website at https://jowannadaley.com/about/.