I recently watched a TED talk by Frances Frei, and it reminded me about the importance of building trust when elevating your personal brand.
She talks about the importance of empathy, authenticity and logic, which are all vital points in the context of building your personal brand.
Let’s break it down.
There is no doubt that when you show empathy, you become relatable. It demonstrates that you have an intense desire to really find out about other people; to understand what makes them tick and to really ‘step’ into their world. This requires focus and the ability to be present in the moment – something that has become increasingly difficult in our ‘always on’ tech driven world.
From a personal branding perspective, Empathy is key. As I always say, ‘you know you have done the best job of branding and marketing yourself when you have an army of brand ambassadors who are out in the world of work tooting your horn and promoting you!’ This is only achievable through reaching out, leading with generosity and finding ways of making other people successful.
Hopefully people see you for who you are and feel elevated by your contributions. But if that’s not happening, ask yourself if you’re listening.
It’s no surprise that authenticity is an important factor for building trust in any relationship. Authenticity is the cornerstone of personal branding. We often talk about being authentic, but what does that mean? For me, it’s about being consistent in terms of who you are; what you stand for and most importantly, what you don’t stand for!
Often when building a personal brand, we are seduced and influenced by trying to ‘fit’ the company mould; by supressing what we believe to be right for fear of ‘going against the tide’ and ‘challenging the corporate culture’.
Authenticity is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be. It requires courage and sometimes that means loneliness, but if you are to make your mark, you need to continuously express your ‘truth’ and translate what it is you stand for into your everyday actions.
Logic is an interesting concept to consider when building your personal brand. Have you ever found yourself in awe of someone who has a gift to logically explain an idea that ‘cuts through the clutter’? Someone who effectively articulates the essence of an issue in a logical and coherent way.
People often ask me; but shouldn’t I always say something in meetings (especially online) to have my ‘voice heard’? And yes, whilst this thinking has merit, don’t just fill the space with empty words.
The real value is in being the person whose brand shines through with a breakthrough question or thought; be the challenger who clearly expresses an alternative view in a way that everyone understands and feel bias to action.
I always say that when it comes to your personal brand, ‘trust is earned’. You need to have clarity around the unique value that you deliver and to consistently execute it in a way that gains trust (no matter what the circumstance) to deliver. This is how reputation is built.
I challenge you to think hard and to consider more ways you can build and solidify trust when elevating your personal brand.