Personal Branding: Rei Perovic on How to Build a Strong Personal Brand

An illustration of a woman recognizable on all social media platforms as a depiction of successfully building personal brand

What do you want to be known for? How do you want others to see you? Whether we realize it or not, we all have personal brands—the impression others have of us. And we have a choice to shape our story intentionally. In this episode of Qonversations, we discussed the concept of personal branding with Rei Perovic, a creative professional in the advertising industry, former art director, and a coach at Quantuvos. Rei shared the intricacies of personal branding, unraveling its significance and offering insights on how individuals can navigate this aspect of their personal and professional identity.


First impressions matter, and perceptions of how people see us linger, so it is essential to have a strong and distinctive personal brand that makes you stand out from the crowd. It’s so important to write your own story and design your brand image to convey exactly what you want it to say. We decide how we want this story to be, showing an image that matches our values and goals.

“Brand is important, because it's the core of the company in terms of getting clear about who they are, whether it's what message they want to send out, or what communication, image, or reputation they want to help shape. And then that might lead to consistency.”

 

Navigating the Seas of Personal Branding

 

A company's brand is a culmination of various efforts involving strategy, communication, and consistency. Drawing from her experience in the advertising industry, Perovic paralleled corporate and personal branding, emphasizing that our personal brand is similar to the corporate one—it requires thoughtful consideration of how we wish to be known, perceived, and the values we want to show. In corporate branding, leaders and managers need to create the environment that allows that brand to flourish.

So, how to build a personal brand? People often wonder who to work with on their personal branding efforts. Business coaches offer useful advice and guiding introspection of one’s career goals and aspirations. Ultimately, through that process, the answer lies in our own approach and willingness to paint our canvas of success. Perovic stresses the significance of seeking feedback from others to gain insights into how we are perceived. One of the interesting ways we can see what kind of brand we created in the eyes of others is by asking people from different backgrounds to describe us and making a visual display of the words they use. And that word cloud can increase brand awareness and help us create our own strategy for how to get people to see us as more thoughtful and reflective.

Many individuals who come out of underserved communities don't necessarily have role models in their lives that have shown them the way. Entering the workplace for the first time for those individuals can be very stressful, and there are a few interesting coaching programs that address the importance of building personal brands. Rei and Brian named the Watering Seeds program as the perfect example, as it is designed specifically for individuals coming out of college and just entering the business world, helping them to create their own personal brand and achieve long-term financial self-sustainability.  

One of the crucial factors along the way in building a successful personal brand is brand awareness. Perovic emphasizes the importance of internal self-awareness and self-reflection. This internal clarity can form the foundation for intentional and authentic personal branding.

 

Identity, Perception, and the Authenticity Factor

 

How others see you showing up may be something different than you think you're projecting. Personal branding goes beyond the superficial, and acknowledging that our personal brand exists, whether we actively cultivate it or not, can break stereotypes and biases. We can shape our brand intentionally to fight against being seen in a simplistic way.

Identity can also be one of the key elements that come into focus when people craft perceptions about us. Perovic describes a negative aspect of this as identity reductionism, which is basically an oversimplification of who we are from other people's perspectives based on stereotypes. People have stereotypes about one group, and based on this, they may form biases. Perovic shares her personal journey, rooted in cultural nuances from growing up in Japan to navigating her identity in corporate America. Wrestling with questions of identity and perception, she transformed personal branding into an empowerment tool for alignment and self-expression.

We are so much richer than presumptions, assumptions, and expectations about how we should show up with our unique experiences and stories. While we may not fully control others' perceptions, we can influence the story we want to tell to counteract identity reductionism.

Making sure our actions match our intentions is super important. Aligning intention with action is crucial to avoid projecting a fake image. We don't want to come off as someone we're not, and it is so easy to fall into the trap of projecting an image that doesn't align with our true selves. Perovic says personal branding is an ongoing process of thinking, improving, and expressing ourselves. And authenticity is the key to personal branding.

“Whether we like it or not, we all have personal brands, a reputation or impression that others have of us. We have a choice to be intentional about how we want to shape our story or image, or impression, or perception."

 

Personal branding is what shapes the perception of us in the eyes of the public. It reflects our professional values and work ethic; it's unique to us and is a vital part of our reputation in the workplace. It combines the expectations, opinions, feelings, and ideas that people collectively have about us. Our goal should be to ensure that the narrative created about us is accurate, compelling, coherent, and differentiated. Whether corporate or personal, a recognizable brand is what makes us stand out from the crowd and distinguishes us from our competitors. Crafting a strong personal brand will help us form a lasting positive impression in the minds of our surroundings, expanding our network and attracting new opportunities.

 

 

Listen to the full conversation.

 
 
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