The Importance of Personal Brand and Tips on How to Curate Your Own
Written by Personal Brand Enhancement and Style Strategist, Fotini Copeland!
The topic of personal branding is at the forefront for everyone, especially during the pandemic. With the re-entrance into the workforce or perhaps reinventing your brand as many have done due to a re-evaluation of priorities, it is essential that we are laser-focused in telling our story. How one delivers their message is key. Whether you’re selling a product or service, you are also selling yourself.
This includes your visual representation, demeanor, and first message delivered to the world before engaging in conversation.
Including your identity, your own self-perception, and self-worth.
Many great businesses start with a vision so why not treat your brand with the same perspective? It is often thought of as boasting and gloating when you are promoting yourself and your well-deserved accomplishments. For some, it may feel awkward and unnatural, but putting yourself at center stage is a key point in becoming successful. If you don’t invest in your brand and yourself, how do you expect others to believe in you and your value?
Your message should be carefully curated and concise, while also telling a story. Here are some key points to keep in mind when thinking about how you define your personal brand.
What Is Your Message
Understanding in-depth what your message is – this takes added effort to self-reflect and assess your priorities. Take time to write down, in whatever form is most comfortable to you, 5 adjectives to describe yourself, and start to build from that. This process is the start of curating your narrative. You must understand who you are and write down your mission statement – overall you are “the brand”.
Target Your Audience
When we think of an individual, famous or not, we immediately have a perception of that person. Especially in today’s world through social media, developing your message to your audience is of the utmost importance. You want to be relatable and authentic to capture your audience’s attention and hold onto it. Your image and brand positioning should be synonymous and coincide with your mass audience; in today’s world with social media, you may even gain new prospects that may not be like-minded and are open to hearing your message.
Promote Yourself In A Mindful Way
Remember to share information that you will always be proud of. Avoid self-promotion that can be destructive to your personal and professional life. It is easy to get caught up with “stunts” that are not thought-out long term but rather what may seem to work for others. Put your best self out there to gain the appropriate attention that you are hoping to attract.
Cultivate And Collaborate In Meaningful Relationships
During this pandemic, it has been extremely difficult to cultivate meaningful relationships. No matter how much the virtual world expanded throughout this challenging time, there is nothing like human interaction. Collaborate with those that make your brand shine. Do not involve or invest in relationships that do not align or promote your best self, but rather surround yourself with people who can elevate you and who you can learn from.
Understand Your Differentiators/Niches
What makes you stand out and how you are different than your competitors in your industry? Identifying these factors help to build your Personal Brand Strategy. Start by listing your non-negotiables, then your message/vision, value-proposition, purpose, and of course future goals. How would you like your legacy to be remembered?
Do Not Overpromise and Underdeliver
Deliverables are also key to your personal brand. Overpromising and underdelivering are the most damaging and destructive to any brand. Keep your promises and ensure first to yourself that you can truly deliver. To develop a reputation as a leader in your industry and in your personal life you must meet the expectations of those in your world. Remember what your non-negotiables are so that you are not starting off on the wrong note.
Invest In Your Visual Representation
The importance of this is what I built my career on. From fashion designing for women and delivering wearable and carefully constructed collections, to advising them on their personal brand. This is now my focus – helping women build a style strategy in a mindful and pragmatic way. Understanding the difference between fashion and style, what a true and functional “Capsule Wardrobe” looks like, the importance of fit and tailoring, and ultimately, how your wardrobe can take you to the next level of success. Building an on-going plan and updating to refresh and renew. Your first impression leads to subsequent good impressions leading to success and confidence.
I leave you with these important points and hope that this gives you a jump-start or restart to thinking about your personal brand.
In today’s world and always “You are the influencer of your personal brand” – Fotini
About the author, Fotini Copeland
Fotini Copeland is a best-selling author, style expert, and founder of The Fotini Factor, the personal brand enhancement - through style consulting - firm for women. A lifelong entrepreneur and designer with an expertise in corsetry, Fotini launched her namesake line in 2010, and quickly became one of the most sought-after New York fashion houses of the moment. Her designs have been highly regarded on the runways at NYFW, The Met Gala red carpet, and beloved by iconic celebrities like Amy Poehler and Kendall Jenner. After years in the fashion industry, Fotini decided to pivot, using her experience designing for women to launch her new business venture as a Personal Brand Consultant. The natural progression from designer to style strategist enables her to help women identify the style that best represents their personal brand. Her focus is on fashion, demeanor, design, and expression capability – and most importantly, inspiring women to be the best version of themselves.