“Personal brand” is not something I ever though I would consider a key element in business. Think about it. Personal brand is literally YOU, the person people see, the way you talk and sound, your speech patterns, the way you look (those funky glasses!!!!), the way you move. And now, thanks to the pandemic and technology, the “you” we see via video meetings.
I know, it may not be easy to accept, but online networking and virtual meetings are here to stay-at least for the time being. And if that’s the case, then the person people see on their screen is, whether you like it or not, part of your brand image.
Once you get over that concept, the next challenge is to think about way people are perceiving you. What else do they get to see in the background? Are you working from a home office? Or is it a corner in your laundry room? Is there clutter all around....or is it a tidy space that reflects the “professional you?”
Virtual meetings means we’ve literally given people a front-row seat to our personal spaces. That makes it important to consider what they are seeing on the other end.
I won’t lie: this hasn’t been an easy concept for me. For one, my office isn’t the neatest place in Ottawa. I’m working hard to make it neater, more inviting, and keep it that way. I want colleagues to see someone organized that can be trusted with their brand image project...not a messy individual who’s still living like a college student.
So many times since the pandemic started I found myself absolutely shocked at what I was seeing in video meetings.
- Some people showed up looking like they were hung over.
- Other folks were eating a super crunchy salad (very closeup and noisily).
- And I’m still not over the shock of the folks who think driving while atending a zoom meeting is a good idea (it’s not and it’s unsafe).
Remember: this is the way things are staying, at least for the time being. So it might be a good idea to make sure the way we show up online presents us in the best possible (professional) way.
for a related post, check out The many sides of your brand (ok, it's three)