In a Fast Company article back in 1997 Tom Peters said, “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” 

The brand called You. 

Take a moment to just sit with that sentence. And then mull over this question before you read on: When you think of elevating your personal brand, what comes to mind?

The replies we typically get – from clients ranging from CEOs to coaches to students – are ‘Updating my LinkedIn profile’, ‘Expanding and leveraging my network’, and ‘Posting content more often!’ None of these answers are wrong, but they are just a few strands of a rich tapestry. 

At DAPPER, we believe that your personal brand is so much more than what you share on social media; it’s how you show up in the world, your values, your life choices and your story. Many of our clients think the same thing once they start to work on their personal brands. For example, one of our clients, Ingram Casey – who is the founder of the adventure tourism company Escape+Explore – explains that he uses his social media platforms as tools to align his professional and personal values:

“This process really took me back to what is most important to me, what I value most in life and how this is reflected in my business. DAPPER really turned me from a social media skeptic to embaracing it for the greater good of what I believe in and the greater purpose of what I want to achieve through my business. They have helped me see the sweet spot in focusing on my passions and reflecting this in an authentic way.”

Over the past 15 months we’ve been constantly evolving our approach and products to focus on two pain points which seem to pop up for almost all of our clients:  

1 | Lack of clarity around purpose.

2 | Lack of confidence to communicate in an authentic way. 

Our role is to guide you through a collaborative process to create a road map which makes sense, enables you to lean into your strengths, and motivates you to be the best version of yourself. It’s not about crafting a story that doesn’t reflect who you are, or puffing up your feathers, or trying to be someone you’re not.

Working on your brand may sound daunting, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. It starts with a mindset change. As Peters said, “Starting today you are a brand… Don’t sell yourself short. You’re every bit as much a brand as Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop”. 

I love this bit of his article: “We need to find a way to create a ‘micro equivalent of the Nike swoosh’ – making our own personal brands easily recognisable.”

If you’re keen to give this a go, start by asking yourself a few questions:

1 | Who do you choose to be?

2 | How do you choose to show up?

3 | What do you wish to say and do?

4 | Who do you want to connect with and why?

5 | What do you want people to say when you’re not in the room?

6 | What is your superpower? 

You might not have all the answers just yet, and that’s ok – like most things in life, your brand is a constant work in progress. Also feel free to chat to us if you’d like some guidance through the process. 

To pull these thoughts together, I’d like to share a succinct quote from Craig Fisher, founder of TalentNet Media, which I really like, and hope you’ll resonate with too: “Your personal brand is about identifying who you are as a leader, how you treat people, how you want to be known – in and out of the office.”