5-Ways to Develop Your Personal Branding, What Makes You Unique?

5-ways to Develop Your Personal Brand, What Makes You Unique?

Personal branding is all about strategy. How to develop a strategy that makes you stand out among your peers. Focusing on the travel industry in particular, have you personally said or thought “Many Travel agents are dime a dozen?” What makes you unique?

Five tips for developing that brand, your brand:
#1 Understand your gift: differentiated gift from skills.  A gift is what you are born with, your skills are learned and build upon your gift. Go to the basics such as gifts of teaching and speaking. If we don’t know who we are, then how can you tell others who we are and what we do for a living? Sure you are hopefully trained to market, sell and manage travel, but what is your gift, what makes you better than the next brand?
#2 Know who your brand champions are. Your Brand champions are agentssupporters and you find them in your formal and informal networks. Formal networks are those with organized cultures, including professional associations and online discussion groups. Informal networks don’t have formal rules and feature an open exchange of information, friends and colleagues who get together away from the office.  They’re the ones who will spread the word about you.  If you have brand champions and let them know what your passion is, they will talk about them to their networks. Increase your focus on your informal networks. Up to 90% of your brand champions are family and friends.
#3 Make a good first impression, yes this is still at the top of the list and you should know that more than 70% of first impressions are accurate. Stand in front of that mirror when you step out, how you introduce yourselves to future brand champions is important. That means drop the “I’m a travel agent and I work out of my home” line. Flush it and jazz up what you really do and create your own special 10-second commercial as an introductory that tells people who you are. It must be compelling, show you are excited about what you do,  others want to do business with people who know their stuff and are passionate for it. Does it excite you to tell someone? Then create your 30-second commercial, then 60-second commercial and conversations that go beyond your introduction. Don’t do all the talking, balance it and listen.
#4 Avoid stereotyping & judging. When networking, you don’t know who knows who, never assume a particular person isn’t your kind of client and remember that person may know someone who is.
#5 Maintain your reputation, inspire your reputation. Your reputation starts with one’s family name and includes one’s personal brand. It is what you’ll be known or NOT known for. You want a reputation you can be proud of, but again, balance pride with your attitude. As you gain success, remember the people who helped you make your achievements. Always manage your reputation and your brand. Marketing and branding is a daily exercise and is daily growth.

. Reference: “The Talking Stick According to Michele: A Guide for Reflecting on Your Personal Brand(Luv Big Publisher, 2014), designed to help answer that question and put that answer to work. A workbook that includes advice and exercises to develop your personal brand
. abbreviated by PJ fr/Mimi Kmet September 24, 2014

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