Does have a strong presence and carrying yourself well matter for personal branding? Can how you appear and how you communicate impact your self-worth? Yes, believes Cherian Kuruvila, a management consultant and coach. In this interview, Cherian shares how he gained the trust of his peers, colleagues and clients by staying grounded, being consistent and focusing on outcomes. He highlights the value of the personal brand and even for introverts like him, who he believes need it as much, if not more than others! Watch this interview now.
Watch the YouTube video interview and read the complete interview below. Look up more such stories on my YouTube channel and on LinkedIn.
- What according to you is personal branding?
How you carry yourself, the legacy you leave behind, how authentic you are, do you command or demand respect, your executive presence – Gravitas, Communication, Appearance. Leadership beyond a title. Influence without authority. Personal branding is powerful when your absence is felt as much as your presence. That is the aura one commands.
2. Do you consider yourself a personal brand? If yes, how do you know it?
Sort of. My articles and posts on Linkedin and videos on Youtube have created interest and there are some regular followers who comment, reach out, learn. Also, part of a few entrepreneur groups too where my experience sharing and giving, and collaborative nature and professional credibility is appreciated. It takes years to build a brand and I was starting off 10 years ago as an entrepreneur from scratch without the benefit of corporate titles and working in big companies.
3. What does one do to go about building a personal brand?
Be clear about your niche. Be clear what makes you relatively unique – your experience, your skill sets, your measurable impacts etc. Social media visibility is a necessity now. So is networking. Both go a long way in building awareness of who you are, what you are good at and why following you is a good value add for.
4. What are the attributes of a personal brand? And what do people associate your brand with?
Credibility, Authenticity, Reliability, Dependability.
Most of these I guess apply to my personal brand from the way I have tried to conduct myself professionally and personally.
5. Based on your observations and learning who according to you is a personal brand? What characteristics do you admire about them?
Premji. His humility, his generosity, his quiet leadership. His spirit of sharing his wealth.
We also saw some powerful personal brands in the recent cricket series down under. Rahane, Pujara were classic examples of quiet leadership – humble, committed, determined.
6. What steps did you take to build your brand? How do you know it is working?
Consistent sharing of experiences, learnings, impact on people, letting people reflect on how what is shared resonates with their own experiences in life, career, relationships. Moved from articles, to shorter topical posts more frequently. Started making business videos during the lockdown and some music videos too. My YouTube channel is titled Business and Music and why not? They are 2 sides to me and some may like one and some the other and some both!
7. What challenges did you face while building a personal brand? What techniques did you use?
It is a slow process. Did not stick to one niche. Write about Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Branding, Marketing, HR, Coaching, Wellness …so appeal to a wider audience. Key is to be consistent to be noticed.
8. During the process of building your own brand, what did you gain in the process? What did you lose?
Visibility. My normal tendency not to share success stories had to be changed to attract and build credibility. My reluctance to make videos was broken during the lockdown, Collaborations became so much easier and so did networking. Not easy for a quiet, low profile person like me.
9. How can someone starting from scratch build a personal brand? What is the first step he or she must take?
Get visible on social media step by step. If one cannot write articles or blogs, start by sharing some thoughts on topics close to their heart. A lot of people I know have starting trouble. Or they wait for that perfect start. I always recommend starting and getting better and more consistent along the way.
10. If you had the opportunity to change something about the way you built your personal brand, what would that be?
Do not look for likes or views or shares. If it happens it happens. Not everything will appeal to everyone so get a feel as you go along. I may have started video bytes earlier than now.
11. What is your recipe for personal branding success?
Be consistent, be persistent, be authentic. Do not put a mask and be someone you are not.
12. Who according to you are personal brands whom others can follow and learn from?
Varies from person to person based on what resonates with them.
13. With COVID19 and other crises what steps can personal brands take?
Increase online visibility and presence through webinars, social media global connects, high visibility. With everyone having gone online, there is no point being part of the crowd. Exploring all channels to check which works better based on what is being promoted or shared.
14. What’s your advice for youngsters (Gen Z and others) who want to consider their personal brands?
Focus on what you are good at and choose the right medium. Do not use mega titles like influencer, evangelist or show off executive degrees as credentials from premier institutes. People see through it soon. Credibility needs to be steadily built. Take the help of some digital marketing experts to also guide you along the journey.
Look up more such articles on my blog www.aniisu.com. Missed the earlier episodes? Look them up here: Muqbil Ahmar, Tinu Cherian Abraham, Joseph Fernandez, Christina Daniels,Karthik Srinivasan,Gautam Ghosh, Alexander Michael Gittens, Mubeen Azeez, Itzik Amiel, Mangal D Karnad, Abhijit Bhaduri, Sandeep K Krishnan PhD, Scott Shirai, Sunil Robert, Latha Vijaybaskar PhD, Abha Maryada Banerjee, Dr. Amit Nagpal, Sukanti Ghosh, Amith Prabhu, Dave Carroll, Prof. Deva Rangarajan, Ramesh Thomas, K V Dipu, Chip Helm, Suresh Ramdas, Karthik Nagendra PhD, Jeppe Hansgaard, Raja Karthikeya, Atamjeet Singh Bawa, Vidyadhar Prabhudesai, Patrick Widmann and Dr. Kalpana Gopalanonline and share your thoughts.
Keen to get ahead with your personal brand? Here are some resources:
- Take this course – Personal Branding 101: Unlock Your Potential and Stay Ahead
- Take a FREE assessment on personal branding.
- Refer to the 3C model on Personal Branding
- Sign up for a 60-minute personalized chat on personal branding
- Personal branding for corporate communicators
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