First, what is personal branding? This is the conscious act of creating a public perception of an individual. In simpler terms, it is how you want the public to view you in terms of personality, career, or influence. This comes in handy while representing yourself during a job interview or while making friends. Remember that first impressions matter, so you have to ensure that you leave a good impression.
Personal branding helps people recognize and appreciate you. However, building the perfect brand needs to be grounded in several fundamentals that help bring out the best in you. Some of these fundamentals are:
- Knowing yourself: The only way people can get to experience the best of you is if you fully understand yourself. By discovering what you like, your strengths and weaknesses, your goals, and even your hobbies, you begin to translate all of those qualities into a good picture. The mistake that most people make is trying to become something they are not. This includes claiming to love certain things and hobbies just because they seem popular to other people.
- Communicating your brand: Always let people know who you are and what you stand for. Appreciate your achievements, highlight your strengths, and let people know you by how you represent yourself. However, be careful because some may see it as boasting. Let your work and achievements speak for you. Photos and social media highly promote your personal branding.
- Engaging in conversation: This mostly applies to people who are building their networks. Add value to the conversations that happen. Be confident in your opinions, and stay relevant to the topic.
However, even with a good personal brand, there will always be negative comments. It is important to note that your brand is not perfect and you’ll likely make mistakes. Some of the ways to manage negative comments are:
1. Categorize the comment, and act accordingly to solve the problem at hand. Whether it is a fake comment, company error, or even a misunderstanding from the customer’s side, be quick to point it out and respond immediately.
2. Respond kindly and collectively to the negative comments. Find possible ways to respond politely while getting your message across. Be humble, and apologize if need be.
3. Respond to the comments publicly when possible. This will portray a better image of you and promote your personal brand.
Another way to build your personal brand and manage comments is by hiring a reputation management company to help you with personal branding. This is a company that helps build and improve the public perception of a person. Companies such as Status Labs help protect the reputation of a person or a company. Their work is to promote your company or brand by fixing any negative web search results, reduce negative reviews that may cost your brand clients, help create a strategy that complements your search engine optimization and improves search suggestions.
While choosing a reputation management company, it is important to study their staff turnover. Do they help their clients with personal branding? What are their success rates? What are their expectations from you? Is it the company that suits you? By considering these questions, you will eventually choose a company that helps you build, improve, and maintain your personal brand. Finally, companies such as Status Labs should be flexible enough to accommodate any changes that will favor your brand or company.