What is your Personal Brand?


This is a guest post by Donna Gutman.  She is the founder and executive director of Women of the World, a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization committed to connecting, inspiring and elevating women through strategic relationships and opportunities. You can find and follow her at @womenwotw1 on Twitter. 

Your Personal Brand - It's who you are.

Do you make the people in your network look good by treating them with respect, rather than obligation and entitlement? Jason Jacobsohn, Director of Venture Development at Aegis Profession Service in Chicago, lists a variety of ways to "enhance your brand with class, ease & enjoyment."

    • Accept hospitality from others
    • Smile when you enter a room
    • Give a firm handshake
    • Dress appropriately
    • Help others whenever you can


Personal Brand

Image courtesy of phanlop88 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Recently I read an article that involved journalists discussing personal branding. Drew McClellan, Top Dog at McClellan Marketing Group, creates a great framework for sharing your brand with the world, using the analogy of a dandelion.

"Once you figure out what your personal brand is all about.... you hold it out to the world, like a dandelion. Sure...the wind will gently blow some of the seeds along, letting them land somewhere and take root.  But...if you want your personal brand to be spread far and near...you need other people. When someone holds a dandelion close to their mouth and gives a big blow.... those seeds go everywhere.  What would make someone want to use some of his or her power and influence to help spread your personal brand? "

How do you determine the brand that suits you best, the one that fits like an Armani suit and FitFlop sandals? You follow the path that circles back to your mainframe - you embrace your purpose and passion. You are a brand from the moment you enter a conference, business after hours, breakfast, lunch, or tapas bar.

Drew gives 5 reasons why people might want to spread your personal brand:

Are you a Go-Giver? (Don't miss this book that spells out the principles of  "give to get"). If you share resources and information with others, they will deliver you to their network faster than a Domino's pizza.

Are you Consistent and Reliable? People will never use one ounce of energy and space by introducing you to their world if you don't honor your promises. No shows  + appointment cancellations =bad karma.

Are you a Credible Resource? The current human currency is relevance and value. You must not only talk the talk, you must lay your tread on the runway and take ownership of the plane you pilot.

Are you Real? If you change your tune each time you find a new pulpit, you will NEVER have the opportunity for growth through relationships. People will consider you toxic exposure to their network.

Are you Grateful? I can't say enough about this. Your attitude of gratitude goes a long way in work and life. When you feel grateful and fail to express it, you are wrapping a present and not giving it. If you want others to introduce you and your brand to the world, make sure you are fully armed with a smile and meaningful thank you.

John F Kennedy captured its essence, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

Women of the World has a unique brand - we support and inspire women to achieve their full potential. We collaborate, share thought leadership, network and mentor with this vision: When women act locally and think globally, we can effect change. Women have the passion and purpose to make this world a safer place for children, family and communities, free from domestic violence locally & globally.  We look forward to your involvement.

Question:  What is your personal brand?

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