Now more than ever, it is critical to maintain, if not build, your personal brand. When people ask me what a personal brand is, my response is your personal brand is your reputation, it is how others perceive you, it is how people talk about you when you are not in the room. The way we show up every day, our habits, and our actions all build our reputation and define what others come to expect from us.
For example, if you happen to be someone who schedules meetings, and yet half of the time you reschedule them or ask to move them, that becomes your reputation.
In a digital or virtual world, i.e. in this new way we are working, there are many ways to build your personal brand. Here are several ways to maintain your reputation and improve it in a more digital/virtual world.
Check in on your people – your tribe
In times of crisis or change, we often are focused on survival (which is important) and we forget that our tribe is probably facing something similar. Even if you reach out via text or a phone call, I encourage you to check in on people and ask how they are and if they need anything. With technology like What’s App, Zoom, HouseParty and more – there are plenty of ways to engage with key people and invest in your relationships. Here is a great example of how that is happening in the business world. A friend of mine, Molly Ruland, is hosting Live interviews on positive and fun topics with 2-3 thought leaders and business owners in her network every single day. This is a great way to adapt your business model and create space for people who are looking for new ways to engage as well.
Create a new routine
This has been the hardest one for me. Between changes at home with families figuring out school work and parents figuring out how best to work from home, a routine can help keep the stress down. If you live alone or with a partner, creating a routine is important too. You may want to dress up for your meeting, keep your standing meetings (or maybe shorten them and meet more frequently to check in). I have started to look at my calendar for the week and be okay with planning day by day and celebrating the wins each day too. Building on the first point, maybe a new routine is to have virtual happy hours or game night with peers, friends, or even family. I love the virtual talent show and game night that Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey did last month.
Embrace your creative side
For many people, we may not have had space to be creative. Now is a good time to be creative, even if it is just for 30 minutes a week. Maybe it is drawing, writing, learning a new skill, playing an instrument…creativity can help reduce stress and get your brain in a more positive space. I know under stress we can all be in fight or flight mode and in order to be productive we want to get out of those zones. Many of us may need to learn new skills to help find new work or even simply have to learn how to use new technology to stay in touch with people. Either way, learning and being creative are ways to engage the brain and heart for good.
Collaborate with others
As we figure out a new normal, it is a great time to collaborate with others. You may need to collaborate to find work, create new services, help others out, generate revenue in a new customer segment. It could even be that you start a game night and collaborate just for fun. However collaboration can help you right now or help others you know, give yourself time to pause and think about who you could collaborate with to make something new/or to solve a problem.
Decide where you want to lead
We all have an opportunity to decide where we want to lead right now or when we might be ready to lead. Whether it is leading at home and simply being present with your family or maybe it is being a leader to a team you manage, decide where you can make a difference and what success would look like in your mind. We have people in leadership positions who are not leading, some who are leading, and many people somewhere in between. Leaders need to be visible and available. The video below is a great example of a leadership at work.
Take time to check in with yourself, put your own oxygen mask on first, then help others. I would love to hear how you are approaching this time in the comments.
Be a noisebreaker,