By Alexia Leachman, Founder of www.headtrash.co.uk

In exploring the terminology and words that are being used when discussing personal branding, I’m going to take a closer look at these;

- Personal impact

- Personal presence

- Personal marketing

- Reputation

- And of course, personal branding.

I’ve chosen these terms because we come across them so often these days, and in many cases, they are used interchangeably. And yet, they are not the same. Sure, they’re similar, but they’re not interchangeable. In much the same way, an Aston Martin, a SMART car and a Prius are similar; they’re all cars and can all help you get from A to B. But, they’re very different cars and the journey in each will differ hugely and I’m sure their owners would argue the fact that they are not interchangeable.

However, they are interrelated and very closely linked, but before I go on to that, I’ll begin by sharing with you what I believe each one of these terms represents. I think it’s important to get this onto the table because then it’s much easier to understand how each of them interrelates. I’m going to start with Personal Branding because it’s the most strategic activity and as in business, it’s always best to start with the strategy than the tactics.

Personal Branding

This is your sense of self and identity. It’s who you think you are and then how you choose to express that. So, when you’re thinking about your personal brand, you’ll be looking at things like;

- What makes me, ME?

- What experiences have I had, and how have they informed me? What have I learned from them?

- What do I stand for? What are my values and beliefs about the world, and about me?

- What do I LOVE doing? What am I passionate about?

- What am I good at? And is this because I’m a natural or is because I’ve been doing it for so long (strengths versus expertise)?

-What gets me out of bed in the morning? Why do I do what I do?

-What am I aiming for? Where am I headed? What do I want from life?

This is what I call inside stuff, because the answers to these questions lie inside. No one else can tell you this stuff; it’s up to you to figure it out. This is good old personal development and soul searching. Once you’re clear on most of this, you’re ready to move on to outside stuff, or external facing aspects. If I were to relate this in business terms, this bit is the strategy and once you’re clear on your strategy, you can move on to the marketing strategy (personal marketing) and then your marketing tactics (personal presence, social media).

My next article will explore Personal Marketing and Personal Impact.

Alexia Leachman is a Mojo-hunter and helps business leadersto find their mojo by helping them to clear their head trash, tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. Alexia is also the founder of www.headtrash.co.uk, the home of the most powerful head trash clearance technique in the world. She regularly speaks and writes, and recently authored a chapter on Online Reputation for a book on Internet Marketing due out in November 2012. You can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL.

Alexia is speaking at our forthcoming Internet Marketing event @ Google Campus.

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