It is a noisy world out there – just think of how difficult it is to find nuggets in the news cycle or among the millions of photos, websites and blogs. Much of it is simply entertainment that neither educates nor enhances the quality of people’s lives. It takes much deliberate effort for you to define yourself and rise above the noise. If you don’t, the world will never find out about you nor even bother to seek you out. Gone are the days of waiting to be discovered or “people know how good I am”.
While you are not competing with Rihanna or LeBron James, you must define your personal brand and market it to the audience that matters to your personal and professional success. Oprah Winfrey and Mark Cuban are people whose personal brands helped them build business empires. Imagine what personal branding could do for you.
If you are an ambitious individual who wants head-turning attention, you need to first build and promote your head-turning personal brand!
What is Personal Branding?
Personal Branding is the intentional identification, packaging and marketing of a person’s mission, strengths, capabilities, talents, background, appearance, etc. as a brand. A big objective of personal branding is to establish a specific image or impression of the person in the mind of others that evokes positive emotions. If you built a strong person brand, the benefits could increase your popularity, credibility, prestige, customer loyalty and market differentiation; it could attract new (and the right) clients, partners, employees and build bigger networks; and it could increase your perceived value (ability to charge higher prices) in the marketplace while negating your competition. As you can see, it could be a game-changer for you and your business and enable you to dramatically increase your income if done right.
Personal branding involves self-packaging – combining your mission, strengths, capabilities, talents, background, appearance, etc. – to define your uniqueness. Armed with your uniqueness and clarity of where you are going, you can craft and deliver a message of your personal brand to the world with intention and focus - to the few who know you as well as the many that don’t. It is about leveraging your strengths and pursuing your mission for the world to see and know.
Personal Branding is an inside-out experience. A skilled personal branding advisor could help you find your authentic self and put it in words, images and colors that speak to the world.
It is always easier for others to see your memorable uniqueness than for you to see it yourself.
Whether you are old school or new school, if you do not define and manage your own personal brand, others will. If it was the neighborhood old lady who ‘branded’ you when you were young, there are her equivalents on the internet. And, just as in your old neighborhood, whether the old lady’s definition of your brand is accurate or not, it will ‘stick’. Then, you will spend time trying to fix your brand rather than defining and managing it in the first place. Stark examples of competitors and detractors branding opponents can be found in politics.
Whether you are seeking visibility for career progression or to attract the attention of prospects and partners for your company’s products or services, defining and marketing your personal brand is essential. Gone are the days when all you had to do was join the local Rotary Club or chamber of commerce; You must understand how to establish a presence in social media (on many platforms you don’t even know exist, using etiquette you may not know or understand). If you want to be invited to speak at a conference, few opportunities come to you organically anymore; you have to define and articulate your brand, what you know and stand for, and get the world to notice and engage. All of that sounds easy when reading this but the rules of doing them are very different than what most people know.
Your LinkedIn profile is not your resume and your tweets are not rambles; you need a personal website with a personalized domain, not just a business card; you need to understand how to create an infographic of 20 things you know on a single graphic while learning how to friend people on Facebook and avoid getting trolled by the tweet farms (I got a mouse that started following me on twitter this morning) or the fake profiles on LinkedIn.
You couldn’t do it by yourself in yesteryears, much less today. There are LinkedIn experts, SEO consultants, PPC experts and SMM consultants to get you higher search engine rankings, more connections, followers and traffic. You can’t just write your thoughts and publish it in a magazine anymore; you need to find influential bloggers and use headline analyzers to develop click-baiting headlines. You need a team to define and build a brand if you want to define and enhance yourself so you can be worth more (or at least as much) as the savvy people. So, you can choose to sit on the sidelines and watch the race or get in it so you don’t get unfriended or lost on page 432 in Google search.
You may be smart and creative but will get lost in a noisy world of BS. Unless you define and market your brand, nobody will care to reach into the noisy pile of BS to find you or recognize your brilliance – you have to raise yourself to be noticed. Marketing is no longer a dirty thing but a necessity in today’s world of hype. If you are brilliant and nobody knows, you will remain a legend in your own mind with just your grandchildren in your fan club. TWEET THIS:
If you want to leave a legacy, you must polish your nuggets and be atop the pile for people to find (easily). Attention spans are getting shorter (seconds), not longer. If you have something to say, write in a blog, a book or e-book (find a publisher or simply self-publish); if you want to be seen, record a video (on your smartphone and post it on YouTube) or get speaking engagements with the help of a social media campaign and a speaker agent; if you want to be known, learn to promote yourself in the media – the new media – with SEO, SEM, SMM and many other acronyms I do not know.
I now know how much I do not know and understand the importance of personal branding in today’s noisy world. I have been systematically working on enhancing my personal brand - and know what works (and doesn't). If you are serious about standing out, making a mark and raising your income, reach out to me and I will help you with what I know and bring in experts for what I do not. I have assembled a group of personal branding experts working with us to help individuals who are serious about becoming famous, powerful and wealthy - see http://www.businessthinking.com/personal-branding-services.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSONAL BRANDING IN TODAY'S WORLD?