We are lucky enough to get an interview with Ms. Monalisa Orban, founder of Manavlok. Being a chartered clinical psychologist, she trained and practised in Mumbai and Delhi NCR for eleven years before relocating to London. She made her name by discovering her authentic personal brand – one that consistently represent who she is and reflects both inner and outer confidence. Here are her insights into the journey of personal branding.
Uplitude: Tell me, how did you start your personal branding?
Monalisa: In 14 years of my professional experience, I have focused on building relationship with the people I wanted to connect. From my social networking profiles including LinkedIn I contributed by sharing my learnings, experiences, and accumulated knowledge to help people learn faster and motivate them to achieve their goals. I have always focused on three attributes: 1) clarity of thought to become agile and swift in thinking through, 2) active listening to nurture relationship, 3) build empathy to help people with a solution driven mindset
Uplitude: Does a fresher really need personal branding? What should be their starting point?
Monalisa: Yes, off-course. They also need to start their personal branding beforejoining their first job. If they start their branding little early, it will help them to chart a course to their professional destination. Thus, they will be able to set themselves apart from others in the career.
The ideal starting point for them involves taking a close look as your vision, purpose, passion, strengths, and values in life. It will help them get equipped with greater and clearer self-knowledge and this will translate into better job opportunity.
Uplitude: What would you tell people to focus on as a starting point?
Monalisa: Before crafting your personal brand, you need to determine that your personal brand is more than a reflection of who we are today. You must create a roadmap of where you want to reach few years down-the-line. Based on your existing skills and competencies, you must assess your strength and weakness as it relates to whichever industry or career you want to break into next.You also need to determine who you are trying to reach. You can follow them on Linked In and any other professional networking sites.
Uplitude: Can you few tips of a universal lessons anyone can apply?
Monalisa: Yes definitely. The first step is to assess your personal brand, and how you want to position it. Then you need to apply my other tips:
- Identify what might differentiate your personal brand from others.
- Think about what makes you feel most passionate and when you feel your “personal best”.
- Determine whether you are living congruently with your values, and how to resolve any discrepancies between your behaviours and your values.
- Develop realistic and achievable personal goals to give your personal brand a clearly identified direction.
- Establish your social and digital presence to get yourself noticed by others and
- Make a positive impression on others, communicate effectively and be memorable.
- Develop your personal style that communicates your brand identity to others, including appearance.
Uplitude: Do you think the idea of personal branding is commonly mis-understood?
Monalisa: Yes, most of the time, people think, personal brand are only grown at the expanse of corporate brands.But that’s not always true. If a sales professional writes a post on his LinkedIn profile stating about record sales in his company, it indicates that he is successfully contributing to the company he works for. The people who follow him on LinkedIn, will get to learn about his achievement. Thus, he may move on to bigger and higher paying jobs.
Uplitude: What books or resources on personal branding would you recommend?
Monalisa: For the beginners, I would suggest “The 10K of Personal Branding: Create a better you” written by Kaplan Mobray. This book offers 10 keen insights into branding of digital ages. Beginners will learn to build a mindset to propel their career and meet your goals as an individual as well as an entrepreneur.