PER­SONAL DAT­ING BRAND

How to brand your­self for dat­ing suc­cess

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Me­lanie Schilling

What do Lady Gaga, Sa­rina Wil­liams and Will Smith have in com­mon?

Apart from be­ing high pro­file in­di­vid­u­als, they all have clearly de­fined per­sonal brands. Love them or loathe them, you prob­a­bly have an opin­ion about each of these peo­ple. They know who they are and they are forth­right in com­mu­ni­cat­ing their mes­sages to the world.

Per­sonal brand­ing has be­come a pop­u­lar area of fo­cus in our ca­reers and busi­ness life, but what about our dat­ing life? There is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity here to learn from (some) celebri­ties and high-pro­file busi­ness peo­ple and ap­ply this to the way we op­er­ate in our per­sonal lives.

WHAT IS A PER­SONAL BRAND?

Your brand is made up of two com­po­nents:

1. The way to present your­self to the world.

2. The way oth­ers per­ceive you.

Whilst you have no con­trol over how peo­ple per­ceive you, you cer­tainly can have in­flu­ence over the way you look, act, com­mu­ni­cate and be­have in your dat­ing life.

Whether we chose to or not, we are con­stantly com­mu­ni­cat­ing our brand to the world. When this is an un­con­scious thing, we can be un­aware of the mes­sages that we are send­ing or the way oth­ers are per­ceiv­ing us. This can be po­ten­tially dis­as­trous on a date. With a big dose of self-aware­ness and these two sim­ple steps, you can be­come con­scious about your brand and have more in­flu­ence over the way oth­ers see you.

1. DE­FINE YOUR BRAND

It’s im­por­tant to be­come very clear about who you are. A sim­ple way to de­fine and re­mem­ber, the essence of your per­sonal brand is to ap­ply this 3-word for­mula:

I. First word is your high­est value, e.g. hon­esty

II. Sec­ond word is your lifestyle pref­er­ence, e.g. ad­ven­tur­ous

III. Third word is your per­son­al­ity style, e.g. out­go­ing

Let’s ap­ply this to Lady Gaga. She may have a 3-word brand that looks some­thing like this: equal­ity, busy, spon­ta­neous. Sa­rina Wil­liams may be some­thing like: health, ac­tive, as­sertive.

To ap­ply this for­mula to your­self, use these ques­tions as a guide:

‘PER­SONAL BRAND IS WHAT PEO­PLE SAY ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE THE ROOM.’ - Jeff be­zos, founder, ama­zon.com

• Value – what is the most im­por­tant thing to you in the world? If this thing was miss­ing, life would be mean­ing­less. This is the thing that de­fines who you are and un­der­pins ev­ery­thing you do in life.

• Lifestyle – how would you de­scribe the way you like to live? Are you a home-body, a world trav­eller, a hard-worker?

• Per­son­al­ity – what type of per­son­al­ity do you have? Are you out­go­ing, shy, friendly, funny? Be sure to choose a word that re­flects your strengths rather than weak­nesses.

2. COM­MU­NI­CATE YOUR BRAND

Once you are clear on the def­i­ni­tion of your per­sonal brand, there are three key ways to com­mu­ni­cate this to the dat­ing world.

i. Writ­ten.

Your on­line pro­files and so­cial me­dia ac­counts are the per­fect places to re­flect

your 3-word brand. Find a way to weave your 3 words into your pro­file and no­tice what hap­pens. You can also align your emails and in­stant mes­sag­ing with your brand to en­sure you are send­ing con­sis­tent mes­sages.

II. Ver­bal.

When speak­ing with dates on the phone and in per­son, re­mem­ber who you are and the way you want to be per­ceived. It’s a good idea to think about a story from your life that demon­strates each of your 3 words. If you can tell each of these sto­ries on a date, you’ll be con­fi­dent that you have shown the best ver­sion of your­self.

III. Non-ver­bal.

This one is a bit harder to man­age as most of our non-ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion hap­pens un­con­sciously. How­ever, with a lit­tle prac­tice and some feed­back from a trusted friend, you can start to be­come more aware of the mes­sages you are send­ing non-ver­bally. Re­search sug­gests that up to 90% of our mes­sages are com­mu­ni­cated non-ver­bally so it’s im­por­tant to make sure your body lan­guage is con­sis­tent with your brand. For in­stance, if your high­est value is hon­esty or open­ness, but you are demon­strat­ing closed or de­fen­sive body lan­guage, you may be send­ing in­con­sis­tent mes­sages.

It’s a good idea to prac­tice com­mu­ni­cat­ing your 3-word brand in ‘low stakes en­vi­ron­ments’ such as din­ner with close friends or fam­ily. This way, it will be safe to make mis­takes and hope­fully, they will give you some hon­est feed­back.

3. WHAT IF YOU MAKE A BRAND­ING BLUN­DER?

We are all hu­man and don’t al­ways be­have in con­sis­tent ways. It’s very com­mon to make brand­ing blun­ders or to do or say some­thing that sends the wrong mes­sage. The good news is you can re­cover!

It’s not about the mis­take you make, but how you man­age the af­ter­math.

The best ad­vice is to recog­nise in a di­rect and hon­est fash­ion your mis­take and to show some in­tegrity and hu­mil­ity.

me­lanie schilling is a psy­chol­o­gist and dat­ing coach, reg­u­larly con­tribut­ing to Chan­nel 10, Chan­nel 9, print and on­line pub­li­ca­tions. In 2014, Me­lanie was ap­pointed Dat­ing and Re­la­tion­ship Ex­pert for eHar­mony, Aus­tralia has worked across the Asia-Pa­cific and Mid­dle East­ern Re­gions. Me­lanie may be con­tacted via her web­site.

90% OF OUR MES­SAGE IS COM­MU­NI­CATED NON-VER­BALLY

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