This is the second of ten posts where we follow Marcos Salazar’s personal branding journey, as he uses the concepts and four-step process outlined in Me 2.0 for his own career.
Sometimes all it takes is a small and seemingly inconsequential event to make a major impact that springs you into action. In my first post, I described how a simple compliment from a friend actually resulted in her giving me The Personal Branding Kiss of Death. It was this passing comment that made me realize I had let my brand of being an expert on the psychology of life after college, Gen-Y, and young professional issues fall by the wayside because I had focused so much on opening up my new clothing business.
Something needed to change and as I reflected more about how I hadn’t maintained my brand over the past year, I started to see an additional problem – I had never fully integrated all my talents, passions, and work experiences into a unified personal brand. It is this type of honest self-reflection that is extremely important in discovering things about yourself and your current situation that will help you in the development of your personal brand.
In this post, I will begin utilizing the first of four steps – Discover Your Brand – outlined in Dan’s book Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success for getting a better sense of who I am, what I want, and where I want to go to help me in creating my own personal brand.
Investing in personal discovery
Personal branding is not just about finding a niche, become an expert, and marketing yourself to others. While these are part of any personal branding journey, on a more fundamental level personal branding is a form of psychological evolution that you go through as you begin developing a deeper relationship with yourself. By getting to know who you are, what is important to you, and where you want to go, you put yourself on a path towards creating a stronger sense of self, which in turn will eventually lead to a much stronger personal brand.
Personality discovery assessment
Below are my answers to the relevant questions listed in the Personal Discover Assessment tool in Me 2.0. When doing this exercise, I suggest you not to censor yourself in any way. Instead, let the words flow out in order to get honest answers to these questions.
1. What are my five favorite activities? Finding creative solutions to difficult problems, writing about topics from a psychological perspective, providing knowledge that people can use to become more successful, developing businesses models that are self-sustaining, helping people discover what they are passionate about so they can use that information to create a better life
2. What are the top five personality attributes I’d use to describe myself? Confident, adaptable in the face of constant changing, innovative, open to new experiences, self-disciplined
3.What are the top five personality attributes that others use to describe me? Creative, natural leader, insightful, problem-solver, good communicator
4. What are the key elements of a successful career in your opinion?
- Being able to spend the majority of my time doing something I love.
- Being able to make a living off of the things I love doing.
- While being financially independent is an important element, I see it as a means to a much larger end that allows me to spend more time helping others, both through my work and my volunteering activities.
- While this is quite hard to measure, another key element would be the social impact my work has both locally and globally.
Now that I have gotten a better sense of who I am, it is time to think more about the type of brand I would like to create.
Brand discovery assessment
1. What would you like to accomplish with your brand? To have a lasting impact on the lives of young professionals by become a psychological resource for them to better their professional, social, and personal lives.
2. Who is your target audience? Young professionals – specifically Generation Y, and Millennials
3. What brand elements do you think your target audience would respond to favorably? Authenticity, empathy, original content that cannot be found elsewhere, and a genuine understanding of the issues that young professionals face in the 21st century
4. What brand elements do you think your target audience would respond to poorly? Not providing anything of value, recycled content, content that readers cannot relate to or utilize in their everyday their lives
Next step – integration
Exercises such as these are just the beginning of creating a personal brand. In fact, this discovery process is a life-long process – and should be a life long goal. In doing this exercise I have learned more about who I am and what type of brand I would like to project out into the world. Now in the next I will this self-knowledge to begin integrating my various talents and work experiences to come up with a unified personal brand.
Question: Did you find this exercise useful? Are there other exercises you have used and/or recommend?
Marcos Salazar is the author of The Turbulent Twenties Survival Guide, which focuses on the psychology of life after college and what graduates go through as the make the transition from school to the working world. He writes a psychology and career blog for young professionals at www.marcossalazar.com. You can connect with him on Twitter @marcossalazar.