Personal branding is all about knowing who you are as a person, what makes you special and how to promote yourself explains Andrew. Using himself as an example, Andrew says he is known to be a performer; someone who strives for excellence in everything he does. He is also known to be both helpful and creative. Thus, when people want help, they know they can count on him to extend the reach of his network.
The importance of a brand
“You may feel like it should be enough to just be yourself.” Andrew says “While there’s nothing wrong with that, you may miss out on many opportunities if you are not well-known, even if you are indeed very talented. Good branding establishes a powerful mind share, placing you at the top of everyone’s mind when the opportunities arise.”
It also means that others already have a perception of who you are before they even meet you – so their actual meeting up with you is more of a confirmation of that perception. That’s why it’s important to maintain your personal brand – it will serve as an introduction to those who don’t already know you.
Before you start
According to Andrew, you would need at least seven people to help you build a brand – one mentor, two coaches, a mastermind group which consists of three very close friends, and yourself.
“A mentor should be a much older, wiser person to give you advice. You don’t have to take the advice each time, but you hear him out because he has gone through much more than you would have. He should be one who is interested in your personal development and lets you learn from his experience.
Coaches on the other hand, are people who are concerned about improving your performance. Why two? This is because you have to work on at least two areas at any point in your life. Coaches may give us feedback that we don’t want to hear but champions in life must “take feedback for breakfast“.
Finally, you should form a mastermind group with three of your peers to brainstorm new ideas, catch up with the latest trends, and give feedback on what other people have been saying about you. This constant watching of each other’s back and friendly competition help you evolve and improve different areas of your life.”
Give, give and give some more
“I always believe that you must give before you receive”, says Andrew who expounds that it is better to adopt a mindset of “abundance” and give without expectations than the opposite – a “famine” mindset – where you won’t give unless you get something in return.
Andrew’s willingness to extend his network has made him even more friends, and he believes in introducing new people to his friends so that they can expand their networks too.
“When I keep giving connections, I get more connections back. Thus, it always helps to give more. The reward may be delayed at times so you have to keep sowing in order to reap constantly.”
Use windows of opportunity
“Sometimes when your resources and network are extensive, people will ask you to help them, even if they don’t like you.” Instead of finding this a dilemma, Andrew allows this to show consistency in his personal branding.
As being a “helper” is one of his core values, he is determined to help others regardless of whether the recipient is someone he likes or otherwise. It is a great benefit to meet and know those who might not have a positive impression of him, as it is a wonderful chance “to correct the mis-perceptions“.
|3 steps to building your personal brand:
Words: Marcus Wong