How do you know if you need to improve your likeability factor? The answer is directly proportional to your desire to finding greater professional or social success.
What I’m really talking about is how you nurture and grow your personal brand. Why should you care about your personal brand and whether your need to improve your likeability? You should care about your personal brand because you have one to care about. This brand is comprised of people’s perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and opinions of you. Put simply, you could reduce this to one word: likeability. Who doesn’t like to be liked? Now, I’m not saying that you should go out of your way to be liked by everyone. Leave that for the politicians! From the sidelines, you can see how difficult it is for a politician to try getting everyone to like him or her.
Still, there are plenty of people currently in your life, and people you would like to come to know who should get a sense of your personal brand, of your likeability, without any forced intention.
There’s nothing shameful about studying what makes you likeable, and how to improve your likeability factor so it helps you both in business and socially. In fact, doing this helps you work toward achieving your professional and personal goals. Having a set of goals to achieve is the same as setting an agenda for yourself with a proposed timeline. Have you achieved your success without setting and achieving goals before? Breathing new life into your personal brand is nothing new except for the attention you give it, and for the new open doors that it ushers you though.
Food queen Paula Deen has recently seen her personal brand come under fire. On January 17th, she appeared on television, announcing that three years prior, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Ordinarily, this would not bring upon such a dearth of scrutiny. But the fact that she held this diagnosis all the while she kept promoting her typical high fat recipes that could bring upon an onset of her very condition! What’s more, at this same first interview, she let it be known that she is now a paid spokesperson for a pharmaceutical company that produces a drug that manages her diabetic condition. Many decried the obvious opportunity Deen took to “cash in” in her condition.
Now, no one literally said, “Paula Deen’s personal brand is DOA.” But her credibility was severely damaged by her not being forthcoming. It made her likeability factor plummet, as if you couldn’t believe in her genial personality, because beneath that aw-shucks smile and earth mother laugh, her recipes were suddenly not seen as conducive to life and growth.
If your personal brand is DOA, you can’t have much likeability going for you.
Your personal brand should be a reality comprised of two parts. You must be authentic. And you must be transparent. To be authentic means you are true and trustworthy. Authenticity comes from within and is expressed in your actions and behavior. Transparency allows your authenticity to show on the outside. You exude transparency through your personal image, and in how you develop your sense of style. But back deep inside, an examination of your core values orients you to rethink what your personal brand is all about.
You can be young, out of college, finding early success, and yet have an outmoded personal brand. The way people saw you in college or when you were hired at your first position won’t necessarily serve you as you look toward your forward thinking goals. Say you’re a Baby Boomer on the other side of the career path. Maybe you’re not considering retirement. If so, you’re competing with younger people in the workplace. But you have experience that employers desire. In any case, it’s very important to breathe new life into your personal brand – from the inside out, and from the outside in – so you put your best intention and foot forward.
If your message and voice is inconsistent, and if people see you as being unsteady, your likeability factor and personal brand is in need of resuscitation.
As a certified branding and image consultant, talk to me about discovering your personal brand and what makes you likeable, and about exuding these qualities through your personal style.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps high-profile individuals revitalize, manage, and be secure in their personal visual brand. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.