The Personal Branding Wheel™
how to get started building your personal brand
One morning as I sat in my office, I thought to myself, how could I take all the goes into building a personal brand and make sense of it all. As we always say at CHUVA, that if your reputation was created by everything you do, everything you say, everything you represent, everything you associate yourself with, and everything you produce, how would such a task be possible. I needed to put structure around it so that our clients could create a system that was easy to follow. It was then I created such a structure which I call the CFX Personal Branding Wheel™. Let me explain.
As I write and create, I need to see the big picture and narrow it down, move things around until I can put it all in a spreadsheet format. I was fortunate enough that my office, while writing this program, had floor to ceiling walls. Which made it easy to add, delete, move around ideas with an eraser marker. I do this at home on sliding glass doors and windows. It’s great process for creative minds. By the end of the day I had an outline. Here was my thinking process.
First, I started out by listing all the “activities and interactions” that professionals do on a daily basis. Such as writing emails, giving presentations, how to dress for work, how to handle conflict to how to make proper introductions, just to mention a few, and I do mean few. I covered a great deal of windows.
As I began to see commonalities, I begin to group these “activities and interactions” into what became, three categories which I call your Primary Branding Disciplines™. The three categories are:
CORE Primary Branding Disciplines™
FUNDAMENTAL Primary Branding Disciplines™
XTRA Primary Branding Disciplines™
I will go in more depth on other blogs about all the discipline from the wheel; however, I want to elaborate just a bit on the CORE as it is critical, and I want to give you a bird’s eye-view of what it is all about.
The CORE Personal Branding Disciplines™ consists of two, personal branding disciplines: behavior and driving forces. They are the foundation for which your brand is built upon. As you can see from the graphic, the CORE is at the very center of the wheel and is what holds the wheel “together”. Think of the CORE as the same as how professional athletes refer to the CORE of their body. They are referring to the midsection that involves more than just their abs. It links all the other parts together, including all the muscles that are in that area; in the front, back and sides. They develop their body’s core so that he or she can perform much better at their sport. Bodybuilding.com refers to these muscles as “stabilizers” for the entire body.
All the “activities and interactions” you do stem from your CORE. It is the basis from which the decisions you make come from. Again, the CORE is about who you are; however, the challenge for most of us is that we don’t know how to put into clear, succinct words or statements of “who we are”.
If someone asked you to tell them about yourself, how would you answer the question? You could but notice how you probably have to search for words to do so. It’s typically not so easy. But if someone were to ask you to tell them about who you are not as a person, the task seems to be easier. As humans we know what we are not because it’s so definitive; however, who we are is reflective of so many aspects we have to think about how to formulate that in way the “truly” describes ourselves. So, how do we make that task easier?
Behavioral Style: the DISC
We first identify your behavioral style, as this tells you “how” you do what you do. It’s about how you interact with those around you in the workplace. We do this by utilizing the DISC assessment by TTI, which is a scientific instrument that measures normal behavior. (Please know that all DISC assessments are not scientifically based!) To read more about how the DISC works, click on the blog title called, “Does Your Behavior Impact Your Personal Brand? You Bet it Does!”.
We then identify those 12 Driving Forces by TTI, that tells you “why” you do what you do. In other words, what motivates you to do what you in the workplace. By combing the results of these two assessments, we now have a picture of the true-individual that you are.
The Fundamental Personal Branding Disciplines
The FUNDAMENTAL Personal Branding Disciplines™ are those “activities and interactions” and “skill-sets” that every professional should develop and maintain. They are essential to “doing business”!
For example, everyone should know how to communicate well. Or, you might be an introvert and do not like going to networking events; however, it is important for you to attend various functions for your organization. If you learn how to network as an introvert, you can maximize your exposure in the marketplace, becoming a “Networking Guru”!
Xtra Personal Branding Disciplines
The XTRA Personal Branding Disciplines™ are areas that extend outside of your daily business interactions. The previous disciplines are about the relationship with yourself and others. The XTRA disciplines are what I call differentiators. For example, you may need to further your education to apply for a job, or you may need to join a particular business association to gain more visibility to showcase your brand.
So How Does the CFX Personal Branding Wheel™ Work?
The wheel serves as the first step in helping you create a plan to point you in the right direction in building your brand. I call this your Personal Marketing Plan™. First, you want to look at the areas where you are strong and ensure that you continue to develop and strengthen those areas on a regular basis. For example, you might be great at giving presentations. So, to ensure that you keep that talent intact, you might opt to help to present to the C-suite in the budget reviews for the new year.
Or you may be great at research and data gathering, therefore, you might work on the same project, yet use your expertise to gain materials to support the presenter. What is important, is to define these areas and keep them fine-tuned.
Second, go through the disciplines and determine the areas where you might need development. There is a process, but for this blog, let’s simplify it. For example, you might need to work on your presentation skills because resources and talents are limited, so you would want to learn how to present in a way that’s natural for you.
After you make the list of development, you should prioritize that list and begin the process. This becomes your Personal Marketing Plan™. You can organize the plan in an Excel Spreadsheet or in OneNote, or any other APP you chose to help keep you focused. As you begin this process you are off to a great start in developing and maintaining your authentic brand.
I know this all sounds overwhelming, and quite frankly, it can be, if you don’t gain control of it. It does not have to be complicated if you fully understand what goes into developing and maintaining a Personal Brand and accept the fact that the process is a lifelong commitment while you are employed. The key is to create a structure that is right for you, to put that structure into place and keep it running like a well-oiled machine.
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