Three Keys to Building A Strong Personal Brand

Today is Tuesday so this post is on creating positive personal impact.

A strong personal brand is one of the three keys to creating outstanding personal impact.  Impeccable presentation of self and being polite are the other two.

The other day I was having a conversation with one of the people I mentor.  We were working on his personal brand.  I had given him an assignment of coming up with three or four words or phrases that by which he wanted to be known.

He came up with words like “loyal, dependable, true blue.”  He was dissatisfied with these words.  He said that they described him accurately, but he felt that they didn’t have enough pizzazz to be a memorable personal brand.  He felt as if he were stuck with an unmemorable personal brand.

I apologized, as I probably had been unclear in my instructions to him.  I should have asked him to come up with a three or four words or phrases by which he wants to be known.  This would have expanded his thinking from “what is?” to “what do I want to create?”  This is an important point – at the beginning, it’s OK if your personal brand is aspirational. 

I’m not saying that your personal brand can have no resemblance to the real you.  But I am saying that your personal brand can be something to which you aspire.  Your brand cannot stay aspirational for a long period of time.  Then it would be inauthentic.  However, if you take steps every day to move yourself closer to being the real you, you’ll be fine.

A good brand has three main features: clarity, consistency and constancy.  Clarity is a function of how well you state your brand.  It should be clear and concise.  I think “The Common Sense Guy” is pretty clear.  Consistency and constancy are functions of how hard you work at creating your brand.

If you act in a consistent manner and constantly keep your brand in the front of your mind, you should be able to turn your aspirations into concrete reality.  For example, I sometimes get messages from people telling me that they already have the knowledge and wisdom I post in these blog posts.  That’s OK with me, as common sense is called common sense because most people are aware of it – it’s the application that counts.  And if you notice, I always end every blog post with a paragraph that begins, “The common sense point here is…”  This is one way I strive to create constancy for my brand.

I find that consistency is the most difficult of the three brand C’s.  While I don’t like to admit it, I do not always follow my own advice, and sometimes act in a non common sense manner.  When I do, I do my best to immediately correct the situation. 

The common sense point here is simple.  Branding is hard work.  You have to stay on your toes in order to build and maintain your brand once you identify it.  There are three tests for a good personal brand.  Your brand must be 1) clear, 2) consistent and 3) a constant reminder of who you are and what you stand for.  It’s fine to begin with a brand that is an aspiration, but you have to do the work – especially around consistency and constancy — to make it a reality.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense and to subscribe to my weekly newsletter “Common Sense.” 

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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