Personal branding has been a hot topic for years and is certainly an important one. However, we may have lost sight that beyond building our external facing brand we must also build our reputation.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines reputation as – The opinion that people in general have about someone or something, or how much respect or admiration someone or something receives, based on past behaviour or character:
- The company has a world-wide reputation for quality.
- His reputation was destroyed when he was caught stealing some money.
- He earned/established/gained/acquired a reputation as an entertaining speaker.
We can obsess or become so focused on how we appear to be that we lose sight of who we actually are.
Our appearance (brand) is be determined by:
- Physical appearance – the way we dress, grooming, fashion sense, make-up, etc.
- Social media profile – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- Personal presence – body language, communication style, self-awareness
Our reputation is determined by:
- Values – morals, ethics, principals we live by
- Actions – what we do when others are watching, more importantly what we do we no one is watching (our private life)
- Output – quality of our work, follow through, results
Your brand can change and evolve as you grow as a professional, e.g. your job title and responsibility, however your reputation is built on the life you live and what you have taught others to expect from you.
“They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, but what most people do is make no impression at all.” Seth Godin