- Testimonials/Case Studies
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘branding’
As I look around, so many clients within corporations struggle with being an effective leader. As we work together to evolve their personal brands into ones that lead well, I discover a big set back for those aspiring to leadership roles. This same set-back applies to anyone wanting to lead anything- not just in corporate America. So if you are a lawyer, financial adviser or rock star, the same applies.
People don’t really know, or intuitively “get”, what an optimal leader looks like. How can we expect them to be optimal and promotable, if they don’t know what that means for them? My task is to collaborate and evolve you into a visionary thought-leader so that others can see you as creative and thus, want to follow you. First, you have to increase your self-confidence, reduce your stress and take responsibility. If you are a CEO, that means you are responsible for your team. If you are a rock star, that means you are responsible to carry your message well to your fan base.
People often assume that leading means talking and giving marching orders. Far from it, I’ve found. I find too many clients wanting to talk, advise and be seen and heard- all the time.
A strong personal brand of a leader is harnessed by being supportive, and NOT aggressive. Think of yourself as a champion of others. What would that look like practically? Well, ideally you would be talking less (in meetings or on stage) because you would see yourself as the “big idea” person, ie, visionary, as the leader. Leaders don’t have to be espousing wisdom all the time- just putting in their advice and support to create the big picture, motivating their team/fans to execution of the big picture, and providing course corrections along the way.
What does this mean for you? Stop and consider, when given leadership opportunities ANYWHERE in your life:
- Do you offer support to others?
- Are you the champion of the entire process or stuck in the details, like others?
- Can you control the urge to talk and be heard, instead of sitting back, talking at optimal moments and watching your vision evolve and grow at the hands of able others you have put into place?
- Do you put your ego aside as best you can, alway?
When I left the practice of law many years ago, I went through a long, long phase of feeling lost and inadequate and confused. I never told anyone. I just sat with it all and wondered what I was supposed to be when I “grew up”. It took me really taking a long hard look at who I was, my passion and purpose for getting up every day and what came naturally to me (my gifts and talents) to really wake up and start the journey. This journey has culminated into a successful personal branding company where I am fortunate to bring this passion and purpose and natural talents to clients.
What it also took was becoming vulnerable. I had to let go of being a lawyer and allow myself to be a person. I then had to realize that I was good enough and didn’t need a label or a title. It felt much like being stripped naked. It was painful and raw.
But what came next was fantastic. Slowly, as I built up the company and started to see results for clients, I started to live into my new-found being and purpose. I began living with, and expressing, joy and love. I found my strength. I also realized that expressing vulnerability made me stronger and even more fabulous. As a result, my personal brand became stronger and so did the business brand.
The concept of vulnerability has been beautifully researched by the fabulous Brene’ Brown. Brene’ describes herself as a “researcher storyteller”. Her fantastic Ted Talk on vulnerability and shame has exploded the field wide open. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak in person in June at the Inc. Magazine Leadership Conference.
Brene’ says that she was researching to expand perception- that a piece of her research fundamentally expanded her perception. She discovered that connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives. It is why we are here. Through her research, she discovered shame as being a fear of disconnection. Shame unravels connection and makes people unworthy of connection. Underpinning this concept was deep vulnerability. Brene’ holds that in order to connect, we must allow ourselves to really be seen.
Brene’ holds that what keeps us from connection is our fear of connection. According to her, people who succeed here and live full out, had a sense of authenticity, courage and connection and fully embraced vulnerability and believed what made them vulnerable, made them beautiful.
In a nutshell, Brene’ found that vulnerabilty is necessary. It is the birthplace of joy, belonging and love.
We live in a vulnerable world. As I’ve always said, successful personal branding means you develop a connection with others. This requires you to be open to others, share your uniqueness and story. Only then will you be living in the only emotion that sells your brand- joy. Only then will people want to get to know you.
It all starts with you being strong enough to do the self-discovery work we have you do. This requires you to be, and always stay, vulnerable. As a result, I feel safe and equal to you- as a brand and as a person. As I have often said, I have deep respect for my clients for working with us and going “there” with us. The results are always fantastic.
There is a balance between being vulnerable and owning your strength as a person and your personal brand. We only want to hire strong, well-rounded people with balanced personal brands.
So, as Brene’ says, let yourself be seen, love wholeheartedly, practice gratitude and joy and believe you are enough. Only then will your personal brand be so strong that it will convert masses to your side- always
I was at the American Bar Association (ABA) annual meeting last week in San Francisco where once a year it seems all of us lawyers descend on a major city. I was having a conversation over drinks with a litigator friend/client of mine.
We were chatting about the diversity of my clients. We work on the personal brand development of clients ranging from lawyers and accountants to entertainers and rock stars. So she asked a very interesting question, wondering if the personal brand development dilemmas of lawyers and rock stars/entertainers were the same. The answer from my experience is that professionals, such as lawyers, have different personal branding issues than rock stars and other entertainers.
In the professional services world and personal brand development, we are aiming at developing, positioning and marketing a personal brand and story that resonates with clarity and consistency to as many people as possible within a target market range that’s right for you, as the professional- lawyer, accountant, CEO. The tough part is making sure you are memorable and visible, yet always credible in your substantive work. The resulting tough part is making sure your target market is aware of you at all times so you stay top of mind. After all, there are tons of lawyers and accountants!
In the entertainment world, the personal brand development has the same construct, but plays out differently given what entertainers do. For example in developing the personal brand of a rock star (take for example Adam Lambert), we are still aiming to develop, position and market a personal brand and story that resonates with clarity and consistency the real Adam Lambert.
However, our main concern and issue is not to make sure the entertainer is visible and top of mind to his/her target audience. When the entertainer is known, his/her target market is aware of them at all times. There is only one Adam Lambert.
The problem for rock stars and singers often times becomes having too broad an audience and fan base. This is often because the messaging of the rock star and who he/she is gets diluted, thus capturing too many fans who now expect (and want!) different things from the star. This creates a marketing nightmare and an inconsistent personal brand because there is lack of clarity about who the star really is and what his/her story really is/should be to the best audience for him/her.
So this may be the only time you see an article comparing lawyers and rock stars. As humorous as it may be, remember whether you are a lawyer or a rock star, you still have a personal brand to develop and own! Enjoy the process.
I write this results “part deux” to the initial case study I did last week after the concert in San Diego. I’ve never had a sequel to a case study. But I found it was necessary after the responses and findings last week.
Thank you to the thousands and thousand of Glamberts who read the case study. Thanks to the many, many of you who commented. Your comments schooled me on the fantastic world of Adam’s fans. And yes, I now realize even thirteen-year old girls are aware of Adam’s sexual orientation and could care less! Moreover, your comments also gave critical personal branding insight into Adam’s current fan base.
In my line of work (I hate to call it “work” because, I much like you Adam, LOVE what I am blessed and fortunate to do for a living as it is natural for me, too) adjectives are so important. So I took in all the Glamberts’ comments using adjectives for describing Adam’s personal brand. Some key words included: “smart”, “gracious”, “open”, “happy”, “joyful”, “honest”, “expressed”, “funny”, “tolerant”, “gorgeous” and “innocent”.
The conclusion is that all these adjectives make for a very strong and wonderful personal brand for you, Adam. Couple that with your fantastic voice and you should be golden with a very successful future of entertaining us for many years to come.
However, I also appreciated the many Glambert comments regarding the diverse fan base. As several fans put it, there is a “marketing complexity/problem” involved here. This fact shouldn’t take away from the fun and awe of seeing Adam in concert. But, as an expert in this area, it does concern me.
While all of us fans go to see Adam for his fabulous voice and presence, let’s not forget there’s an industry and business involved here guys. Adam needs to make sure his fan base grows and records get cut, so that he can keep entertaining us with his fabulous voice and presence.
Given I’ve become such a fan as of late, it would be my pleasure to make sure someone with such fabulous personal branding adjectives touches even more fans and finds even more success.
I have the solutions to reach an even larger fan base. Adam, call me (949-274-6423).
Making the decision to change careers and then taking the big plunge to actually change careers is hard enough. I know what it is like. I remember it all too well. Sometimes I look back and wonder where I ever got the nerve or the courage. I have even asked myself if I would do it all over again, knowing what I know now. The answer is always a resounding “yes”.
Changing careers is scary because there are so many unknowns. We ask ourselves all sorts of questions, including:
- Will I like my new career better than my current career?
- Will I be a success?
- Will I make enough money to live comfortably?/ Can I pay the bills to survive?
Part of the difficulty in changing careers is the unsettling notion we have about how we can conform who we are, as individuals, to the new job. The problem is that most of us identify ourselves with our careers and jobs. If you asked me 15 years ago who I was, I would have told you I was a lawyer.
Clients often say to me that they do not know how to represent themselves (ie, position their personal brands) in networking events, on business cards and in front of others in general. For example, one client practiced as a CPA for twenty years before switching careers to go into the mortgage industry. Not only did she have a challenge with what to verbally say as she introduced herself and her new career, but she also had reservations around her visual brand- how does a mortgage industry specialist show up in public? Is it the same as a CPA or not? More conservative or less? The list was endless, understandably.
The hesitation and confusion is understandable. There is a very real loss of self followed by self-discovery in this process. You have to go through the journey of figuring out how to distinguish yourself and your new personal brand within the context of the your new industry and career. This requires you to know your uniqueness and your story around it. Then you need to find the overlap in your uniqueness, talents and story between your two careers.
So ask yourself: 1) are you ready for a change? 2) would a new career make you happier possibly in the long run? 3) do you have a contribution to society that fuels your passion and purpose? 4) where are the commonalities and differences in your two careers and your skill-set and offerings- ie, where are YOU the same in each career?