Ask five people who know you (but not too well) what the first words are that come to mind when they hear your name.
If you were one of my five people, I would ask you, “When you hear my name, Victor Cheng, what’s the first word or words that come to mind?”
That’s your personal brand.
The question is: did you like what you heard?
Did you get silence back in response?
Did you get back some very general comment that could easily be applied to thousands of other people?
Here are some of my answers for a few people I’m familiar with:
- Ryan: Stoicism & wise beyond his years
- Emily: Women’s health medical research
- Perry: Mr. 80/20
- Zoe: Screenwriter
- Dan: Brilliant marketer
- Michelle: People psychology
- Burt: Tax strategy
On my list, you’ll see the person's first name followed by the phrase I associate with them.
These are the people in my life that have very distinctive personal brands.
The association also works in reverse.
If you ask me, "Do you know anyone who’s great at tax strategy?", Burt’s name will pop into my head.
If you ask me about a screenwriter, Zoe’s name comes up for that.
This kind of clear personal brand association helps you get referrals and introductions to new career opportunities, job openings, and more.
The key is to have your personal brand association be linked to something specific.
The question is: what association do people have for you?
How did they answer that question?
Did you get general adjectives/phrases like “nice person,” “smart,” and “friendly”?
Or did you get phrases about a specific area of expertise, focus, or interest?
Of the two, the latter is far more beneficial to your career.
If your personal brand doesn’t exist or is fuzzy, consider taking some efforts to sharpen what you want to be known for.
One way to do this is through my recent class, How to Develop a Powerful Personal Brand. I will be releasing all my teaching from this comprehensive class as a program in a future limited release.
You can join the notification list for this limited release and have the opportunity to learn my techniques for developing a personal brand before the program is released to the public. Just submit the form below to be notified when the program is available.