Until we see a photo, a full-length photo in bright light, we don't really know how other people see us.
No retouching, no special effects. I am talking about stark reality here. Looking in a mirror occasionally won't provide the whole story.
Unless we watch an actual movie of ourselves we simply cannot see what others see. And we cannot know the story going on in their heads about us. We can guess, but we can't know the whole truth.
Naturally, the story in someone's head varies from person to person, so there's not just one story going on about us. There are many.
Branding my story is not only a function of portraying myself in photos, words and actions, but it is also a matter of choosing TO WHOM my story matters. Honestly, who cares? And WHY do they care about my story?
Bernadette Jiwa nails this idea when she writes, "It pays to understand what story the people you choose to serve want to believe."
Everybody wants something, and branding myself is mostly about choosing the right people, the ones who already want who I am and what I do. Then I have to be the person who looks and sounds the part, to those people, consistently.
That is personal branding from the inside out - knowing the story MY PEOPLE are already telling themselves about me.
Sonia Simone adds the critical question to this conversation when she asks, " Is it presented in a format that your person will consume?