Are you tired of reading the same old generic twaddle about personal branding. Are you sick of people breaking down the most obvious nonsense you have ever read, and then presenting it like it will help you build a brand?
If you are, then you may like this subversive bit of text because it cuts to the heart of the matter. This article is a slap in the face for anybody who has a fluffy and idolized view of personal branding.
Why Would a Business Owner Need a Personal Brand?
Your company has a brand, so why shouldn’t you? Recognize any of these humble inconspicuous people, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve jobs? Do you need a personal brand to help create a thriving business? No, but it certainly helps, especially if you want to influence people and further your business.
We have all received corporate gifts, and have probably already forgotten what they are. Imagine if you had received corporate gifts from some of the people listed in the previous paragraph. wouldn’t they have carried more weight?
1 – Stick to Single Brand Principle and Stick Hard
Never make the mistake of trying to show off all your talents, skills and selling points because it is a massive mistake. People are barely interested in your best quality, so they are certainly not interested in the rest of your benefits, perks and good sides.
Think of the greatest people you know and ask yourself what their greatest selling point is. Then, ask yourself what their second selling point is, and you will come up short.
Clint Eastwood – great actor who plays tough man roles.
2nd point – Umm, he’s tall.
Judge Judy – A stern and level-headed administrator of the law.
2nd point – Umm, she and Oprah are America’s richest TV celebrities
Albert Einstein – Great at math
2nd point – Umm, may have been German.
People do not talk about you and then list your greatest points. They say, “Yeah, Jack is pretty cool, and he is a legendary programmer” or “Yeah, Johnny is awesome, and he is a real lady’s man.” They name your most brandable asset, ability, or quality.
They say, “Yeah, I met Julie, she can do 50 celebrity voices,” or “You remember Shelly, she is the one who balanced the corporate budget during the slump.”
What they do not say is, “Oh yeah, you remember Jimmy, he is the one who sold 3 caravans in one day, and who has a degree, and who scored 10,000 on guitar hero.” You do not hear people saying, “Oh, you mean Becky, yeah, she is the one who understands Oct-core set-ups, cooks Pakistani food, and can apply six colors of eyeshadow on one eye.”
2 – Keep Brand Logos Simple and Stop Focusing on Your Logo
Your logo has a lasting effect, but it is not as important as you think. Keep it simple and it will do its job fine. A man who has lived his brand is called Richard Branson. He is soaked in his brand, which is called “Virgin.” Yet most people do not even know what his brand logo is, and this guy has turned his personal brand into a multinational corporate one.
3 – Stop Thinking People Care and Stop Trying to Engage
You are told by other articles to try to get people engaged by asking for their input, by asking them questions, and by trying to get them involved in your projects. But, you are not trying to build an Instagram following, you are trying to build a personal brand, so don’t waste your time trying to get people to engage with you.
As a side note, getting many social media followers is a good thing, so long you are implementing a sound personal brand building campaign, otherwise you are stoking a fire with no food to cook.
Speaking of Instagram, have you ever seen an amazingly beautiful woman on Instagram who fills her profile with user questions? Or, does she show what she has and gives it her all?
In truth, your personal brand should be so attractive that people are coming to you trying to get you engaged, and not the other way around.
4 – Educate and Prove, Prove, Prove
A kid says, “I am the greatest magician. I am the best magician ever. I can do magic tricks that will astound you.”
His dad says, “Show us a trick then.”
The kid says, “I am the greatest magician. I am the best magician ever. I can do magic tricks that will astound you.”
Sounds silly, right? Yet this is exactly the same route that so-called entrepreneurs and professionals take when they are trying to create a personal brand. In reality, you need to develop a personal brand that is based/founded in you proving what you can do. In many cases, you need to prove before you start making claims.
A client is looking for proof that you are an expert animator. Reply with your best cartoon that has been re-edited to include the client’s name, and then introduce yourself.
You are trying to sell a phone and prove that it is tough. Send a video of you running over the phone in your car, pick up the phone, call the client and ask if you can send over a quick video proving how tough the phone is (but catch all that on video).
5 – Forget Your Elevator Pitch
Do you know who have to remember things? Liars and actors. Your elevator pitch should flow from you like cheap wine from a sinking French cargo ship. If you know yourself, if you know your brand principles, if you know your biggest selling point, then everything should fall into place.
Look at the best politicians of our lifetime, aka the ones who were able to make a strong impression on people without even trying. Look at people like Vladimir Putin, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and Tony Blair. You can ask them anything, and they have an answer ready to leap off their lips.
It is not because they have all their answers rehearsed; it is because they are living their brand. They are biting at the chance to get their point across because what they are and who they are makes up their whole personality.
What is amazing is that some of the most dedicated and brilliant people look like idiots when they try to recite an elevator pitch. You can get them talking in private, and their ideas and thoughts flow like warm treacle. Then, you put them in front of a board of directors, and they start reciting some nonsense like a schoolkid giving a presentation.
It may seem like creating a personal brand is daunting. The biggest problem is usually by being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. Try the tips above but be prepared to chop and change as you learn which ways prove to be successful for you. Be committed and persevere to succeed.