When most people hear the word "brand" they think of a place or thing, but often they do not think about a person. By definition, a brand is an intangible marketing or business concept that helps people identify a company, product or individual.

People often associate brands with labels, logos, slogans, or other recognizable marks. But what about a person’s brand?

Darlene FlaggResearch shows that personal brand is the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.

Each of us has a unique value proposition that we offer to our clients, employees, and those we serve. Every connection we make impacts our influence, our power and our position.

Here are five things a woman should consider when defining and enhancing her brand:

  1. What is your value proposition?
  2. Do your value proposition and core values align?
  3. How would your circle of influence define your character?
  4. What are you doing to attract people to and develop your brand?
  5. What are your brand bruisers?

You own the personal and professional risks associated with bruising your reputation; that’s your brand. Whether that is attitude, tone, social media, how you land on people or how you show up, you own it. Everything you do leaves a permanent statement about your character — your reputation. In order to avoid brand bruising, the lesson that must be mastered is facing the distractions head-on. The mastery is achieved when you are open to understanding the brand bruisers that damage your reputation

Understanding the
Risks that
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Effective personal branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust with others — prospective clients, employees and employers. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. When it comes to your brand the focus is on setting yourself apart. Your brand should reflect who you are. Your brand should build trust. Your brand should connect you to others!

Always remember you are the best representation of your brand. Start concentrating on your features that help people more clearly identify with your brand.

Darlene Flagg is Vice President, Marketing at National Life Group and National President of WIFS.