Personal Branding: So, You Wanna Play Mr Candidate?
Across England we are in the run up to the 2013 County Council elections. And clients of mine are already campaigning in their #1 chosen division after I helped them successfully prepare for their local association selection interviews, securing their status as an official candidate.
Candidates across the country are getting their literature, websites and content together ready to start canvassing. Great stuff. But so many candidates across the country forget one thing.
What’s your brand? Of course you are adopting the Conservative Party brand, but what is your personal brand? How do you want the public to see you?
Personal Branding For Councillors, MP’s and Candidates
Before knocking or any door, or before hoping to climb the political pole amongst your elected peers you need a brand, you need to stand out for something at least.
Personal branding, to be honest, is no different than product and service branding, except that the entity being branded is you, Dear Candidate. Just like Nike or BMW uses its brand to attach a certain personality and uniqueness to its trainers and cars, your personal brand is made up of the qualities and unique traits you represent. Your personal brand represents the way other people think about you. They will have a view on you – it is up to you to try and make this as positive as possible. I am not talking about creating a fantasy persona here – I am talking about highlighting your personal stories, your successes, skills and abilities and illustrating your competence and your likdeability.
Personal branding hinges on perception and the stories you tell about yourself: the things you emphasise and want to sell about yourself (which make up why you’re a great candidate) and the things you don’t. Does personal branding involve lying? It shouldn’t. More than that, it shouldn’t have to. You don’t need to be the next Boris Johnson to build an extraordinary personal brand.
Personal branding is kind of like creating a self-portrait or writing a book, or Wiki page all about yourself. So think, before you write your next blog post or In Touch newsletter, what message are you giving out, boring ‘same-old’ Conservative, or dynamic, trustworthy new blood?
It’s up to you.