When your image is in need of serious repair, consider referring to the acronym I-C-U.
You identify, plan, and execute. As with any type of plan or goal, it is imperative that you first do an analysis of how it relates to your image and personal brand. Things to consider:
- What is it that you really want to happen? Do you have a career goal or personal development goal?
- Set aside time to clearly define who are you and what you stand for.
- List your values and the words you want to be associated with.
- Write down how you want people to feel when they are around you and even after you have left. How do you want to serve others?
- What are your accomplishments and what do you believe you are capable of achieving?
It is better to define yourself before others define you. Once you have clarity, every action you take must be done intentionally while being mindful of how it relates back to your goals, who you are, and how you want to be remembered.
You have to intentionally build alignment. This is not only the case in your appearance, but in your interactions with others by how you behave and communicate, including how you represent yourself online. Winging it doesn’t cut it anymore. There is too much competition. You have to be strategically visible everywhere.
Inconsistency breeds confusion and consistency breeds familiarity. Everything you do or don’t do sends a message about who you are and what you stand for. Be consistent in how you present yourself in every space you are in. Ensure you are pulling that brand string through every element of who you are. Here is a sampling of how you might do this:
- Develop a signature look. This can be as simple as consistently wearing a certain color or piece of jewelry.
- Keep your online profile photos similar. They don’t have to be exactly the same, but they should have continuity.
- Keep your social media profiles up to date.
- Are your usernames consistent across your profiles? This makes it easier for people to find you and connect.
- Remember, everything you post online and every line of communication you open via email, text, or phone, contributes to your image and personal brand.
- Be mindful of how you behave and your manners.
Just be you. Cookie cutters are great for baking but have no place in branding. In today’s world it appears so many people are trying to be like everyone else, and this becomes monotonous to the point that we find it absolutely refreshing to see someone who stays true to themselves. Authenticity and realness stand out in a way that seems brave.
Take the above steps and definitions and use them as defined strategies for your personal success.