Refine Your Personal Brand - dummies

By Susan Chritton

All strong brands boast the three Cs: Clarity, Consistency, and Constancy. These brands deliver on their brand promise every day with everything they do, and they are constantly visible to their target audience — the people who are making decisions about them.

The three Cs help you express your personal brand with confidence and energy, so you want to be sure to build them into your communications plan.

Clarity: Crafting a clear message

Strong brands are clear about who they are and who they are not. Achieving clarity is often the hardest part of the communications plan because you may have a hard time deciding what you stand for, especially early in your career. Clarity comes from understanding and embodying your unique promise of value.

Often, the clearer your stand, the more enemies you will have. What holds many people back from taking a stand is knowing that some people will not like them or agree with them. But strong brands have a clear message, and you need to have the courage to communicate yours.

Having a clear message doesn’t give you permission to have bad behavior. It does mean that you clearly communicate your message and stick to it. Being clear about your message and living in alignment with who you are is a freeing way to live.

Consistency: Presenting the same message every time

When you are clear about your message, you want to deliver the message consistently no matter what communication method you use. Every time you send your message, it needs to be perceived in the same way.

For example, every time you see Kenny Chesney singing, he is wearing his cowboy hat. He is consistent in his brand. Your clothing, your words, your tone of voice, the graphics you use in your written communications . . . all these items can help you send a consistent message, so be sure you think hard about the message you’re sending to your audience.

If you’re trying to brand yourself as a solid professional whom people can count on, you need to deliver that message with everything that you do and every message that you send. That means you need to save your flighty, indecisive self for private times and not tarnish your brand with inconsistency.

Constancy: Designing a plan so that people hear your message frequently

Strong brands are always visible to their target markets. This means that if you’re trying to build your personal brand, you need to make sure that you stay visible regularly. You can’t disappear for months on end and hope that people will still remember you.

Developing and implementing your communications plan helps you stay visible to your target markets. Some service professionals send a monthly newsletter or chair an organization where they’re seen by the people who need to see them every month. Others are weekly bloggers.

Find the communication tool that you enjoy and constantly use it to remain visible to your people. Carve out a small amount of time, often as little as 15 minutes, daily or weekly to update your communication channels.