Personal brands are created by building a trust relationship with your clients and customers. People choose your brand because they know you, they like you and they trust you. No relationship with clients means you’re a commodity and you are perceived to be like all the rest in your field. Then people will choose you strictly on price.
When you have equal qualifications with a competitor, people will choose you because they like you. Let’s look at the five key components of likability:
1. Authenticity: Authenticity is the foundation of likability. History is laden with fallen celebrities, politicians and religious leaders, and the internet is laden with untruths. It’s easy to see why being authentic has risen to the top of the likability scale. How you say something is more important than what you say. People quickly sense whether your words are sincere.
2. Humor: Humor not only increases your likability, it uplifts people and makes them feel good. Humor also makes you stand out in the crowd and makes you memorable. Not everyone can be funny, but we can all be fun. Humor is not about telling jokes. The most appealing humor arises naturally out of conversation, and that requires being an active listener.
3. Active Listening:The art and skill of listening is central to all communication. Active listening leads to more effective responses, relevant questions, and engaging conversation between two or more people.
The active listener not only hears the words, but focuses on understanding the speaker’s message. It requires giving up any judgment of the speaker and listening with empathy. The end result is that the speaker feels valued, heard and understood.
4. The Power of Story: We communicate with, we learn from, and we remember stories. Many people are not naturally good storytellers. However, engaging storytelling can be a learned skill. Information is greatly enhanced and retained through stories. Captivating stories enhance likability by giving context and clarity to information.
Tell your business success stories that relate to your client’s issues and tell your personal stories to help build the trust relationship. Captivating stories enhance our likability by giving context and clarity to information.
5. Vulnerability and Self-Deprecation: What are your challenges, what are you grappling with in your professional and personal life? People will respond positively to your transparency. Vulnerability makes an emotional connection with people and boosts your likability.
Self-deprecating humor is one of the most appealing types of humor today. Joking about our quirks and flaws creates instant likability. For instance, before GPS I had such a bad sense of direction that whichever way I thought was the right way to go, I would go the opposite direction because I was almost always wrong.
The best way to build your personal brand is by having a trust relationship with your clients that is built on likability. Likability runs deep in authenticity, humor, stories, listening skills, vulnerability and self-deprecation.
Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/smemon/