I became a mentor, because I lost a bet. It may have been the first time ever that I was content with losing, because of all the amazing perks and rewarding sentiments that followed. Watching the group of guys that I mentored on “the quest for authentic manhood,” really uplifted something inside of me, and that’s when I found my love for leadership. I could care less about the corner office or the title, what I care about is leadership and providing those I’ve mentored with the tools they need to succeed and become model mentors themselves. It’s rewarding as a whole, difficult in the transition phase but I would never look back and say it was something I’d do differently.
Mentoring is Important
Mentoring is important to me, because I was never aware of my own potential until my mentors clued me in to my own potential. My mentors were always aware of the potential within me before I could recognize it myself. They helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses, and developed me. That is why I will be forever grateful. Without my very own mentors I would have never recognized the potential to become who I am now. That’s why I pay it forward and mentor those who I see have potential. Mentoring goes hand in hand with personal branding, because you are identifying who you are and playing up your strengths to develop that personal brand. Personal branding refers to branding yourself as a professional in your industry. Creating awareness to who you are and what you stand for; your ideals and your beliefs. This should translate through everything you distribute throughout all media channels.
Mentoring is part of your Personal Brand, or Should Be
My initial reaction was shock when I found out that people didn’t even consider mentoring as part of a personal brand, during a recent Twitter chat that I guest hosted. The personal branding as a whole is being true to yourself and sharing your experiences. Those experiences influence others, and as a personal brand those experiences should positively encourage others to become the best they can be. Developing a personal brand gives you a chance to influence others, and I would personally recommend others to pursue this approach of mentoring.
Developing your Brand
The Power of a Personal Brand
Personal Branding is both hype and a must have. You’ve got to be able to hype yourself, but at the same time be authentic, entertaining and personable. The whole personal brand goes back to putting people back into business. People do business with people not with big brands. If you can’t bring a personable touch to what you do, then you won’t find many customers throwing money at you or your brand. A personal brand allows people to connect with a person, either face-to-face or through digital channels.
Personal Brand Leaders (that I like and respect)
Every company or corporation should have a brand. A brand translates who you are and what you do by presence, logos and slogans. Every personal brand should contain the same concepts, and also leverage a corporate brand and be a part of the brand’s culture. To truly incorporate your company’s brand, promote the companies brand through your personal brand. Personal brands may become heavier weighted than corporate brands depending on engagement and influence, but it should always be tied back to the businesses’ brand and the corporation’s bottom line.
Influence Branding Perceptions
Personal brands can definitely influence how others see and perceive corporate brands. That’s why it’s smart to stay on top of your game. You have to stay authentic and safe, while acting as an extension of a corporate brand. Also, if it happens that your personal brand becomes more influential than your corporate brand you then become “The Face,” and with that there is a lot of responsibility. You must uphold the corporate brand guidelines, while staying true to yourself and perceiving your personal brand as an extension of the corporate brand.
Off the Record
The trick of a personal brand is to bring a humanized element, while still maintaining some privacy. You want to be able to share the experiences that make you, you, but you don’t want to compromise more personal details about your life. If you have themes for things in your personal brand, it will help you categorize topics to share with your audience, by not sharing too much. You can categorize what you share by using hashtags or blog categories. Being personable is what allows for personal brands, but then again you are an extension of your corporate brand. So don’t share things that would be compromising to you or damaging to the way that audiences perceive your corporate brand.
Personal Branding Tips
If you would like to start a personal brand that can decipher both personal and professional traffic, you would first want to think of the similarities that both you and your corporate brand share. While in this discovery phase figure out what you want to be known for, and these concepts and themes will be what you convey, and will be what your audience expects from you. Also, it is very important to notify your employer and work with them to establish that your brand is in-line with the corporate brand. Who knows, they might give you all the assets you need to launch your personal brand. Once the benefits are explained, and the idea of how you can help leverage the corporate brand is understood, you might have nothing but open doors.
Be personable, be you, share experience, help people and let people get to know you on a more personable level.