If you are wondering how 2021 will differ from 2020 and years past, start by doing an inventory on yourself. One of your tools to thrive this year will be your personal brand, with a little work done to polish it up further. Be optimistic about the future, because as long as you follow my excellent tips, you are on your way to success!
We have all exclaimed that we hated 2020, at one point or another. Justifiably. You probably wanted to take a shredder to the whole year and write it off by June.
However, here is what you’ve missed!
Your entire 2021 journey is now defined by the last decade, and the past year of 2020 when the unravelling world seemed to be holding itself together by the thinnest of seams
If you want to believe that 2021 is a clean slate, you are actually an idealist, and the new beginning should show that this year will be an epilogue to a sequel focusing on 2020 alone, where you’ll need to rise up and face your limitations, past thinking, and the risks of your 2020 struggles. The baggage you are coming into this year with, should all be a weight you are willing to bear.
Everything you carry with you now, should be of value – why?
The only resolution that matters to your future success in 2021, is about how you can be of value. Being of value, is ‘now’ currency. In this ‘new normal’, it’s not that people have, or do not have time but that people are very aware of how their time and resources are used. They had to be after protocols for pandemic prevention limited so much of our daily lives.
So, when contemplating how you can be of value, and how to seek it out in what others do, there are a few things you need to ask yourself.
Here are three questions you can apply to ascertain how you can be of value.
1.What are 3 things I do that define me?
This is a question to ask yourself because as humans, we are always seeking meaning in everything we do. We always want actions, thoughts, dealings and habits to serve a purpose – for ourselves, and sometimes others. Thinking about what you could be summed up as how you define yourself, and the realities of what you do, can clarify exactly how you value yourself and the world around you.
Answering this question is being one step closer to strengthening your personal brand statement.
2. Do the things I do support what I am passionate about as well as my ethics?
Humans put so much at stake when measuring moral principles to facilitate functioning in the modern society.
Should what you do be in contradiction to the ethics you claim, it will cause a value depreciation in your personal brand – something very hard to reclaim once lost. Answering this question means dealing with the potential that you may have to overhaul your professional and personal trajectory in order to find clarity, balance, and sustainable value in your life and what you do with it.
People seeking you out as an authority, or thought-leader, will be drawn to you if what you do supports your passions, because that manifests in the kind of wisdom and knowledge you dispense and d the amount of confidence and enthusiasm with which you deliver them.
3. Do people leave every interaction I have with them with something worth retaining?
It seems strange to premeditate your interactions with people, whether they are brief or extensive. However, developing your personal brand, and striving for success, means understanding that there is a wealth of value that can be exchanged in every single interaction you have.
People remember heartfelt sentiments, genuine salutations, and truthfulness. Some will walk away loving that you are a ‘straight shooter’, while others prefer a constant storyteller. Regardless of the circumstances, as part of your memorable impression, you need to be aware of every interaction. Make sure that you leave something positive with the other person, something that they can possess and keep with them
Figure out what your reputation for success is and how it is correlated to your personal brand.
Try these top 3 tips to towering with your personal brand
- You’re allowed to be an entrepreneur with personality online, so complete your social media and LinkedIn profiles with a snappy, informative bio – and update those contact details!
People love character – people with character are often entertaining and can be informative simultaneously. You do not have to fit a mould, to draw and keep people interested, most times, just being you is enough. Take a chance on being you by steadily revealing your knowledge, skills, and character, with a social media presence that draws crowds in.
Don’t be scared to share your contact details too. There are so many people who would love to bridge the digital divide, to establish a connection. I am often shocked by just how many people forget to keep their contact details visible and updated. You could be missing innumerable opportunities because your contact details are not up to date.
Ensure your website links work, and that your email address is always available. Double-check your telephone number is typed in correctly and that your profile picture has a recent image that would make someone stop a moment while scrolling.
2. People can really rally behind you, when they’ve experienced the realities of your journey. Don’t be scared to show the struggles and the triumphs.
There are few things people love and remember more than an ‘underdog’ story, or a tale of perseverance.
I actually love to keep up with the journeys of businesses – ones I know, and don’t know. The storytelling that comes from just sharing your dedication can inspire someone to take those first little steps needed to keep going forward.
In the face of everything 2020 has thrown at the world – through the social and economic crisis where businesses are doing their best to survive – understand that you are living a reality that many can empathise with, so why not connect on that level? This is a great moment to learn and develop. The stories that speak to the human heart, tend to become analogies used as future reference and suddenly your experience is a blueprint that motivates people from all around the world.
Share your journey and see how the story and your personal brand gain value as word spreads.
3. Expand your horizons! Engage other blogs related to your area of expertise, in a meaningful way.
Connecting yields so many positive outcomes, when it’s with the right people.
Don’t be afraid to share, and to reach out – whether for advice, to agree, compliment, to offer up your own constructive tips, or to just let someone else know that you are there. Consider being part of a neighbourhood Facebook group and offering tips that help your neighbours in their day-to-day lives.
We know the age-old saying that “sharing is caring”, and now is no different. Should you be an expert, or just exceptionally skilled in something, offer up your knowledge beyond just your platforms – be visible in the comments of other websites, solving people’s problems, or on YouTube or Facebook leading others to the answers they need. Be of value to their digital and real-world experiences.
In one of my personal blog articles, I offered up great tips to revitalise personal brands, and I emphasised, “Following this value-adding business strategy – optimising 10-15min of your time per day, while giving so much more back – as part of your repertoire as an entrepreneur, will allow you to fire up your personal brand so that you’re standing tall to walk the talk”.
This year, you have got to be proactive in your thinking and your actions. To perfectly position yourself as someone of value, with a Personal Brand beyond reproach, capitalise on what you know about yourself. If need be, reintroduce yourself to the world in 2021. Allow people to know you in a clear and distinctive way. Seek out opportunities to connect and interact meaningfully and be your most authentic self – that is the most valuable part of your personal brand.
Liezel van der Westhuizen is an accomplished presenter, adaptable virtual emcee, Global Branding Specialist, and beloved keynote speaker. She (a Masters graduate in Business Communication) is also owner of The Giraffe Academy, which is dedicated to a mission of Personal Brand Building – assisting clients to stick their necks out and cultivate their power to stand tall and be unique. This, she believes, is the key to marketplace success.
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