The “me” brand, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. The rise of social media and blogging has created an environment where, to be successful, you must become your own brand. When done right, the “me” brand can shape the future of your business and bring you more followers, making you very popular in the digital world. Savvy personal branding can even turn something that starts as just fun into a money making venture.
When businesses look at brand identity (or re-branding) the process generally involves exploration to discover the brand “personality.” Oftentimes, the brand personality is the product of a series of extensive brainstorming sessions about the business, asking questions of customers, and sometimes hiring outside consultants to facilitate the organization to take an objective look and provide feedback. Note: there’s the key element – OBJECTIVITY. For business entities it is sometimes easier to gain objectivity but when we start talking about the “me” brand, it becomes much more challenging to stay objective.
In order to create a brand of yourself, you have to really know yourself. How do you see yourself and does that self concept align with how others see you? How does your definition of you effect your communication, personally or professionally? These are hard questions, yet necessary if one is to create a successful “me” brand. Perceiving the Self by Ronald B. Adler and George Rodman, offers some insight into the relationship between self concept and communication as well as an exercise to kick-start this personal exploration process.
The article suggests making a list of every word you can think of to identify who you are and then pick 10 from that list that best describes the most fundamental aspects that define you. Then try to remove one of those words and imagine what you would be like. Odds are, even in the case of less desirable attributes, if you removed one of the 10 key traits you wouldn’t be quite the same person. To me, that is comforting in a way. It helps me accept the good with the bad, because without the whole package I wouldn’t be the same “me.” Taking a close look at these words was a great first step in understanding my self concept.
Try it out. Make a list and see what you come up with. Whether you are branding yourself or just trying to better yourself, the clearer your self concept, the more equipped you are to communicate with others in an engaging way stimulating learning and growth.