Building and Owning Your Personal Brand TWIST

by Julie Cottineau

                         Photo: Pete Souza

We often think of celebrities as having unique styles with “signature looks”:  Anna Wintour, artistic director of Vogue, with her perfectly styled hair; Michelle Obama, exuding confidence, while showing off her killer biceps in feminine dresses;  Sarah Jessica Parker channeling Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City with Manolo Blahnik heels; Tyra Banks, strutting her fierce catwalk and flashing her trademark “Smize” (smiling with her eyes).  You might even have a girlfriend you admire for here consistent and unique look.

These women aren’t playing dress up; they’re crafting and communicating their personal brands.

What’s a “personal brand” anyway,  and do you really need one?

Just like the branding for products and services that helps us identify and choose our favorite running shoes, coffee, perfume or mobile phone provider, Personal Branding can make individuals stand out from the crowd. And it’s not only for celebrities.

Having a strong personal brand can help you stand out in the competitive job market and nail a dream job, or get noticed at work and get a well-deserved promotion or raise. It also can help people remember you and think of you first for exciting volunteer opportunities. Projecting a strong personal brand means you’re clear about your personal TWIST – your point of uniqueness. Feeling comfortable in your personal brand also can give you a great boost of confidence.

Close your eyes and think of Beyonce, legs astride, long hair blowing behind her, ready to take on the world. Interestingly,  Beyonce has shared that she doesn’t always feel as confident as she looks. When she walks on stage in front of large crowds, in fact,  she often channels a personal brand avatar (or double) she’s created, named Sasha Fierce. If Beyonce needs a strategy to feel more comfortable in her personal brand, why shouldn’t the rest of us consider doing it,  too?