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People Buy Your Uniqueness Before They Ever Buy Your Product Or Service. What's Your Uniqueness & How Do You Market It?

Pushing the Envelope: How “Crazy” Are You?!

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envelopeI always preach that if you are not quirky and unique,  it becomes hard to develop a really optimal and effective (and fun!) personal brand for you.  Truth is that everyone has quirks and eccentricities.  Trouble is that none of us wants to own them because then we are the “oddball” and perhaps “weird” and by extrapolation— unlikeable and yes, un-loveable. 

But how do we really know if this will be the way our brand is perceived by others?  Have you ever taken a poll? Odds are- no. 

I had a meeting with someone just the other day where this person claimed that if she did X, Y or Z, then she may be seen as “too out there”.  I had to interject (as I often have to do with clients. Hey, that’s my job!) that in fact, she was not being “too out there” if she did X, Y or Z with her brand.  In fact, she would be seen as memorable AND credible if she did X, Y or Z, much less all three.

In reality, you see yourself way more “crazy” or “out there” than others do.  That’s just a part of being a self-conscious and fearful human.  My goal is to get you to see yourself as a self-confident, happy person and personal brand that can be self-expressed doing X, Y, and Z and be loved and loving.

So if I had one piece of advice it is:  your goal should be to stay within the rules, yet always be pushing the envelope just outside your comfort zone.  As with everything in life, you have to seek balance.  That usually means being “crazy” or “out there” because odds are you will barely be crazy enough, but you’ll likely be happy, memorable, have higher recall value and generate business.

Got Music? The Universal Personal Brand Enhancer.

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noteIn personal brand development and management, I am always talking about having connection with others.  There is no other way for your personal brand to be successful if you cannot connect yourself- and thus your business brand/career- to others.  The better your method of connecting to a larger audience all at once, the more connections you could possibly develop at once.  More connections could translate into more business- better and faster.

Nothing moves the heart and brings the soul to life like music, song and sound.  I am always encouraging- or rather requiring- my clients to have some form of creative outlet or hobby.  Creative people are creative personal brands that attract others for good.  One wonderful creative outlet is music.

In fact, that is why I love creating and cultivating the personal brands of artists- those who create and entertain through song and musical instruments.  These artists’ contribution to humanity is invaluable and such contribution- beautiful, melodic music that comes from the soul and carries a message that everyone is free to interpret and “own”- must be branded so that everyone knows about it.

Sound has been used since the ancient times to aid in healing and emotional health.  Australian aborigines used sound to heal over 40,000 years ago via their didgeridoos.  Jonathan Goldman is CEO of Healing Sounds.  I have been subscribing to his blogs for years.  As Goldman states, every part of the human body has an optimal frequency that, when working properly, creates harmony. And when one part of the body starts to vibrate differently, it creates disease.   Harmonic vibrations, like that of Tibetan bowls, engage relaxation, cutting off the pain reflex and promoting health.

So what does this mean for you?  Ask yourself when was the last time you truly listened to your favorite music?  Better yet, when was the last time you sang to your heart’s content?  If you do not incorporate music and song and sound into your personal brand, then you are wasting a perfect opportunity to connect with others and develop a stronger personal brand.  Those strong connections lead to more business- guaranteed.

 

ARE YOU AS WEIRD AS AUSTIN?

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KeepaustinweirdpicI was most recently in Austin, Texas for two reasons. One, since I develop the personal brands of musicians and artists, I love Austin for its rich pool of fantastic and undeveloped/unbranded talent. They deserve a fantastic personal brand so their music can be heard and noticed far and wide! Two, I am also looking to open our Austin location to service our legal, financial and music clientele.

On this trip to Austin, I was firmly focused on the famous Austin phrase, “keep Austin weird”. I started to really explore what it means to be “weird”. The word, “weird”, like anything else, is extremely subjective. One man’s weird is another man’s normal.

I personally love Austin for being weird and wearing the “weird” brand so well. Everywhere you go, you see fantastic signs of weird. It’s irrelevant for me to list the activity I saw signaling “weird” because, as I said, weird is subjective. However, for example, walking down South Congress Street through the touristy/weird stores, I heard a man/tourist say, “this town is too weird for me, it makes me uncomfortable”.

That’s when it hit me- Austin wears “weird” as a badge of honor. In my opinion the city is saying, “we are proud to be different and stand out of the crowd”. People who live in Austin do so because it is great to live where you can be accepted for who you are, no matter what that may be. Everyone wants to be loved despite his or her faults and warts, etc.

However, most of society is so afraid of being different and unique, afraid to thus stand out and be heard and seen as who they really are and who they dream to be. Society calls people and situations who dare to be different and unique as “weird” because we are so afraid of the unknown. As the male Austin visitor said, it makes us uncomfortable.

Instead, we like to conform. As Brene’ Brown points out in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, when we compare ourselves to others, we tend to conform and compete. We compare to fit in and yet stand out, as odd as that seems. But as Brown found, none of it promotes self-acceptance, belonging or authenticity. None of it promotes a successful personal brand. The only successful and strong personal brand is one that is authentic and true to that person’s genuine being- and yes, that may be “weird” or different. At least, that’s my hope. As I always say, “if you are not quirky or weird, you are not dynamic and you are hard to brand”.

So stop and think to yourself:

- Do you spend all your energy and time focused on standing out by fitting in?

- Do you yearn to be different and outstanding, yet find yourself trying hard to blend in and be accepted? If so, what would happen if you tried to just be yourself and have joy in your life? I can tell you, that your personal brand would be much stronger and you would be happier and attract more people and opportunities to you.

So go out there and create an intentional personal brand that’s all YOU- warts and all! I promise you the worst that will happen is that you find yourself happier and your business and career growing for the better.

I’d love to HEAR FROM YOU: what are you doing to be unique and own your weirdness?

 

Is Your Personal Brand Pharrell Williams Happy and Oscar-Worthy?

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happyfaceYes, here I am yet again writing about the only emotion that matters if you are developing and/or polishing your personal brand- happiness or joy!  No event or person displayed that better than Pharrell Williams’ with his song, “Happy”.  It is Pharrell’s first new release after eight years, from his new album “Girl” that just hit shelves this week- and boy does he make up for lost time.

Pharrell performed his hit song at the Oscars last night.  You could just feel the audience come alive.  After all, everyone was decked out in their finest (and stuffiest?) formal frocks and were acting like they had to hold their chin up the entire time and squint.  Then he hit the stage and people became “happy”.

As I always say, if you are not a happy service-provider then why would I want to hire you?  If you think the answer is because you are smart, then think again.  With life being so complicated these days, we only want to hire someone who makes us happy or joyful.  If I’m spending money on you, then you better make me happy because I assume you can get the substantive job done- like many other professionals out there trying to get me to hire them, too.

As for artists, I always recommend expressing themselves through music that reflects their joy and happiness.  I guarantee them that their music will sell.  Pharrell displays that very well, given “Happy” is climbing the charts fast.  Same concept applies to actors- if they only knew how unhappy they often come across to their fan base….and if we only gave an Oscar for happiest actor….

So stop and ask yourself: Am I happy?  Do I come across as a personal brand that can make my clients and prospects happy?  If not, what are you going to do about it?

Just read some of the lyrics for yourself and see if your mood gets elevated and you become well, happier!

“Happy”

[Hook:]
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

[Verse 2:]
Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Here’s why

 

 

The Personal Brand of Champions: Bode Miller, Grace, Dignity and The Media

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bode millerBy now we have all heard and/or seen the interview NBC’s Christine Cooper conducted with skier Bode Miller after his Super G Olympic win last Sunday.  I got to watch the interview live on Sunday.  Here’s how I saw it go down:  Miller wins another medal as a truly decorated athlete.  Cooper interviews him immediately.  She asked about his win and then swiftly moved on to ask about the recent (and raw) passing of Miller’s brother.

But she didn’t just ask once- Cooper just kept asking the same question over and over again in what amounted to me to be one of the most disgusting displays of the media sensationalizing and abusing people.  I mean here is a great athlete who has accomplished a great thing.  And Cooper wants to spend two-thirds of the interview trying to bring Miller to tears, which she did. I get how these things work.  Her producer was plugged into her earpiece.  Likely the producer was encouraging Cooper to persist to see how far they could push Miller.

But forget about the media- they don’t need any more attention in my book for the embarrassing behavior they call journalism.  I was amazed by Miller.  He kept his composure as much as he could.  Even after the fact, he has been quoted as saying Cooper was just doing her job.  Talk about a personal brand of a champion.

We can all learn from Olympians and particularly, Bode Miller.  A personal brand that takes the high road with grace and dignity and forgiveness is a winning personal brand always.  Now if only the media could take a page from Miller’s book and learn something from their pathetic behavior.

 

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