15/07/2011

By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach at Blossoming Brands

When was the last time that you had a good think about what makes you great? Not many people do, probably because it’s not very British. We’re much better at saying what we’re rubbish at. Being clear as to what makes you great is crucial when it comes to selling yourself or persuading others to get you on board. They’re going to want to know.

Some people assume that what makes you great is easy; it’s what you’re good at. But that’s not specific enough for me. Your greatness is made up of a few things; your strengths, your skills and expertise, and your past successes.

For me, there’s a clear distinction between your strengths and your expertise. Expertise can be built up easily by repeating a task over and over again. You might not enjoy the task, but you’re damn good at it. Your strengths on the other hand are what you tap into in doing the task. When you’re tapping into your strengths, you’re more likely to be in flow. For example, let’s take the simple task of laying a table for a dinner party. A creative person might get carried away with napkin sculptures and floral displays, someone who’s prudent and thoughtful, might limit the sharp implements and spend time over seating plans. In short, your expertise is the WHAT and your strengths are the HOW.

Understanding your strengths is a crucial starting point in building your personal brand. All great business brands are built on their strengths and the same goes for personal brands. It’s your strengths that differentiate you. If you’re not clear on your strengths, it’s worth taking the time to find out. Maybe ask friends and colleagues. But there are also questionnaires available that will identify them for you. A well-known one is the Gallup Strengths finder, which is great for a corporate setting. However, if you want to understand your strengths from a personal perspective, the Lovephool one is more appropriate.

In addition to your expertise and your strengths are your successes. Theses are your strengths and expertise in action, it’s your proof that you can do stuff. And they’re also a hint at what you’re potential is. You can use your past successes as a promise to what might be around the corner.

Finding a way of telling others what makes you great that includes these three elements will mean that you’ll be tapping into one of your main differentiating points and well on your way to carving out a strong personal brand.

Watch the below video of Alexia Leachman discussing; how to build a strong personal brand.

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