All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘branding’

Are You “Cheap”?


Do you avoid paying your fair portion of the bill when you go out to lunch with a big group of business associates?  Do you have all sorts of excuses to avoid paying your business/life coach or vendor on time?  Why should you buy your assistant the expensive holiday gift- after all, you share your assistant’s services with a partner in your firm, so the partner should buy the nicer gift since he/she makes more money than you as an associate?  Do you not go to feed the homeless with the rest of the office because there is no money to be made or prospects to be found at the homeless shelter?

So we all know of the stereo-types regarding cheapness.  Obviously we can’t assume someone is cheap and attribute a negative personal brand to him/her, just because of a stereotype.   It is unfair and not often true.

However, we have all seen the above-mentioned questions in the first paragraph play out.  And- make no mistake about it, we have ALL taken note of your cheapness in these situations.  We just don’t say anything to you.   Maybe we don’t consciously realize we think you are “cheap”.  However,  we’ve stored away the causal connection between: 1) you, as a (insert your career title here) and, 2)  you as a cheap person.  The further conclusion we likely draw is that you are petty, greedy, a hoarder and all about yourself.   Guess what folks- you now have a really negative personal brand that will require some serious work to rehabilitate!!

If you come across as cheap it means  we do not want to do business with you.  After all, you may rip us off or deny us our fair share of services, kudos, or kindness. No one in business wants to refer business to someone who is cheap. Not only do we not do business with you, but we likely don’t even want to be friends with you socially.  You’ll likely be the one to bring the $2 bottle of wine to the holiday gift exchange.

So stop and think- are you cheap?  Have you done things that could be seen as cheap or stingy?  Or do you freely give of yourself and your time because you care about people and want to help?  You have complete control over this personal brand perception maker/breaker.


Self-Confidence & Leadership


I ended the last blog post with the notion of self-confidence. Specifically that people are attracted to someone with high self-confidence.   At Puris we use self-confidence, coupled with stress, as a big gauge to see how your personal branding is working.   The main result of our work with clients is that their self-confidence goes UP when we help them create an effective personal brand.

When you have high self-confidence, it means everything is working well for you, including your personal brand.  High self-confidence correlates to high productivity, high morale, reduced stress and effective behavior as an employee and a business owner.

It also is true that self-confidence is tied to effective leadership.  Leslie Pratch*, a clinical psychologist, headed such research at the University of Chicago.  Here she investigated the longer-term personality predictors of leadership.  The research found that there were definite gender differences involved with respect to being self-confident and being an effective leader.  Most notably for you and me, Pratch found overwhelmingly significant that women must have high self-confidence and self-esteem in order to be perceived as an effective leader.  Men on the other hand are more expected to be self-confident, so we don’t judge their leadership on self-confidence.

What does this mean for you?  If you are looking to grow your business or get promoted or just be taken seriously and noticed more- then you have got to be perceived in a leadership capacity of some form.  This means you must have high self-confidence and self-esteem.  A strong personal brand is based on high self-confidence.  The more you “get” your personal brand and develop it, the more your self-confidence grows.

No one wants to work with, promote, listen or follow someone who doesn’t appear, and is not, sure of themselves.  This is especially true if you are female.  So go out there and develop an effective personal brand to boost your self-confidence!

*You can read more on Pratch's study on her website, Pratch & Company.

Does Your Weight Impact Your Personal Brand?!


With the holidays in full swing,  most of us are focused on holiday parties, food, calories and the extra pounds we’ll have to lose once January rolls around.   For most of us, we gain a few pounds and lose a few pounds.  That’s our cycle- up and down.  However, the changes are only really noticeable by us.  Very few others really notice our weight swings- we just feel like everyone else can tell.

However, what about the situations where someone loses or gains more than a few pounds?  We all surely notice that significant change.  If we lose a lot of weight, people are more likely to comment than if we gain a lot of weight.  It is just socially the correct thing to do.  No one wants to bring to light your 40 pound weight gain.  However, we’ll congratulate you on your 40 pound weight loss.

So how does all of this impact your personal brand?

I was listening to a radio talk show last week. They were commenting on how Ralphie May, the comedian, had lost a noticeable amount of weight and the impact on his career.  May was the runner up of Last Comic Standing in 2003.  He was known as the funny and fat comedian, hitting a high of 800 pounds at one point.  Now he is apparently under 400 pounds and still working on it.  Does this drop in weight mean that his personal brand is no longer recognizable?  Will his career take a hit? Since perception in branding is everything, will he no longer be perceived as the funny and fat comedian?

Other famous folks have also lost weight over the years and had a change in their personal brand.  Such celebrities include Sharon Osborne, Al Roker, Roseanne Barr, Brian Dennehy and Randy Jackson, to name a few.  In the case of actor Jonah Hill, of movies such as Superbad and Knocked Up, who lost over 40 pounds, I had no idea who he was when I saw him post weight loss (his ears seemed larger all of a sudden!).  I can certainly say that at times I didn’t recognize any person at all post weight loss.

Since brand recognition is about consistency and how you show up for me, your personal brand certainly takes a hit if you gain or lose weight. However, the health benefits of weight loss certainly counter the loss of brand identity.   You’ll live longer and healthier- you’ll just have to have a plan in place for rebuilding and revitalizing your personal brand DURING and post weight loss.

Now if you gain a lot of weight, not only are you jeopardizing your health but you are taking a really negative hit on your personal brand. People will likely see you as someone out of control who can’t manage their weight, life or business.  Please don’t get upset over this fact- just know the way humans operate and use it to stay fit and have an effective personal brand.  After all, your self-confidence is what attracts us to you and you’re likely to be more self confident if you are at or near your ideal weight.

Personal Branding Is Not Rocket Science- See It On Video


Katy Speaks On Personal Branding

[To see Katy speak on this subject at a recent workshop, click this link: Katy Goshtasbi On Personal Branding.   If you'd like to purchase the entire talk on CD or DVD, email us.]

I often tell people that developing an effective personal brand is not that difficult.   People find this premise hard to believe.  So I’ll say it again:  personal branding is not hard to do, folks!

I believe 50% is your substantive work product, ie, what you do for a living.  The other 50% is what personal brand you project to the world and how we see you and remember you.   The problem is two-fold.

First,  people don’t want to focus on the branding component because it means having to go “there”.  You know what I’m talking about.  Focusing on, developing, or fixing your personal brand means stepping back and evaluating your physical looks, personality and relationship to others.  That’s not always easy or fun, but really necessary for growth and success in the workplace.  Seriously. Only after these exercises can you cater towards the right target market with an effective personal and business brand.    I’ve been in this business long enough to have seen otherwise.

Second, personal branding and marketing/business development is not a skill taught in school.   We are often not business people.  Many of us go to college and beyond.  We get a great education (often with much debt), but no one told us how to run an effective business so we can use our education and wisdom.  So the result is we are highly educated, but dumb in business savvy.


What You Do For A Living Is Not Your Brand!


So you are a doctor, lawyer, engineer, CPA, beauty expert, HR professional, dentist, CEO, trapeze artist, chef or professional organizer?  Great.  Congratulations for having a wonderful career and a great title/profession.

So when you meet people and want to share with them who you are, do you give them your title/profession?  I’ve noticed over the years that at a networking event when someone wants to learn about us, we automatically say, “I’m a lawyer”.   As a society, we unfortunately tend to think we are what we do.  Sadly, this does not make us fulfilled and it creates a poor personal brand.

As a lawyer, I’ve found this to be especially true for lawyers. When we meet new people, we tend to give them our practice area as our introduction.  So it would go something like, “Hi I’m Katy and I’m an investment management lawyer”.  Just not so remarkable if you are not a lawyer, right?

The entire point in creating a personal brand for ourselves is so that we can stand out and be memorable and resonate genuinely with others.  How are you going to do that if you the first few words out of your mouth after your name include, “I’m a lawyer, dentist, CPA (fill in the blank)”?  In a world where there are tons of lawyers and doctors and CPAs and (fill in the blank), does that seem like a memorable or noteworthy opening line? Not to me!!

Please don’t misunderstand- I appreciate your pride in your career and job. However, you are NOT what you do!  Let me say it again- your specialty area is not fabulous enough to make me remember you and want to get to know you. That is unless you are an elephant trainer or something very rare.

So what does this mean for you?  Next time you are at an event and want to introduce yourself remember, people want to get to know YOU, not your job. So tell them something unique about yourself:  Where have you lived?  How many kids do you have? Do you have any hobbies?

Remember, don’t assume we won’t find you unique or interesting.  We’ll be the judge of that.

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First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.