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All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘branding’
I’m a big proponent of everyone having their story (Personal Connection Story, is my terminology) down well as part of their effective personal brand. But this is always the hardest part of personal brand development for all our clients. For starters, no one appreciates their story- not just the significance of it, but the need for it, how to communicate it, etc.
People always ask me what parts of their story they should lead with because otherwise they feel overwhelmed by their own story. After all, if you know your story well enough and have developed it well, your total story should be significantly lengthy. I’m assuming you have all lived at least 25 years, which means you’ve got a lot to share with the rest of us.
Always keep in mind that you are looking for a connection with whoever is in front of you. What do you have in common with them? Why? Once they know this information, people extrapolate an assumption that you “get” them. Connections come once I think you are on my team.
In other words, people want to know if you are on their side. WHY do you do what you do and how can you help them? So look at when and how you are an ADVOCATE for your clients and/or customers. Then convey that part of your story to prospects/whomever you are trying to connect (i.e., network) with. That’s what I need to feel/know from you when I meet you.
Since my post last week was about the top three ways to kill your brand, I thought this week we’d tackle how to maximize and optimize your personal brand. The biggest issue I find with all my clients is that everyone is out of wack. You know, we can’t seem to find balance in anything in our lives it seems. Between work, family, parents and a social life, where can we draw a healthy line and thus, have a healthy personal brand?
My documented research has shown a direct, inverse correlation between stress and your personal brand. The higher your stress, the lower your self-confidence and thus, the less effective your personal brand value. No one wants to be around someone who is stressed, much less hire them and pay them good money!
These days it seems everything stresses us out. I just heard of a study that found that an astounding number of cell phone users (don’t quote me, but something like 92%) stress out when their phone battery is low (i.e., hits the “red” bars). Part of this is generational. As a soon to be 42 year old, I kind of like the prospect of checking out and being unreachable via my phone. I’m just saying….. But I’m sure the 20 year olds don’t feel the same way and I get that.
So how do you reduce your stress and increase your personal brand effectiveness? Here are five obvious, but harder to practice concepts that are a MUST for everyone, including all my clients:
1. Meditate or sit still- the more you do, the more crazy and nutty you tend to become. We all notice the craziness and no one likes it. Unfortunately, we are not used to sitting still anymore. Find 10 minutes (at least) each day to sit in silence and do NOTHING.
2. Keep a gratitude list/journal- the more grateful you are about the everyday things in life, the better your life. I point this out because of my goal in creating HAPPY personal brands for all my clients (yes, lawyers, financial advisers and even rock stars). Projecting a happy personal brand that others want to follow requires you to “be” happy. End of story.
3. Take Inventory- sit down once a quarter and review your calendar. Do you really need to be doing all the activities on your calendar? Does each activity optimize your life? Does the activity make your soul sing? Do you get business as a result? Does your personal brand shine with the activity? Be honest. No one is grading you but you.
4. Paint It RED- at least once a week I am telling a client to paint it red. At least 3 times a week, I am painting it red. In cases where you are not sure what to say or how to interact with people- be HONEST and sincere and tell them the exact truth or reasoning behind your mindset and/or activity. Watch the weight be lifted off your shoulders and your stress come down. They will love you, and your personal brand, for it.
5. Be Kind- Being kind boosts our self-confidence because we have done something nice for another and feel good about ourselves. Being kind attracts kindness. Being kind boosts your personal brand and relieves your stress. I promise. This is easier said than done. Just being aware of when you are kind and when you are not is a great start. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
Email me and tell me what stresses you out the most and your coping mechanism.
As the years go by in my personal branding work with people and organizations, I see some very common mistakes people make. Below are the top three mistakes I see very regularly. These mistakes are a sure way to have an ineffective personal brand and thus, lead to an ineffective business brand. Both lead to you having less recall value for others, a less robust client and prospect pool and– less happiness.
“People come to me because of my expertise”- All too often (just yesterday), I hear my brilliant clients argue with me that their personal brand is just fine because people come to them based on their expertise. This happens less when I am working with musicians and artists because they have a better tendency to appreciate the “entire package” philosophy.
We are all conditioned to believe that our education and our substantive work are superior to anything else in life. I’m a big believer in education and providing quality substantive work. However, don’t believe for a minute that your education and your substantive know-how is what your personal brand is all about. People first notice you and your uniqueness, not your expertise and substance. Your emotional value for people has nothing to do with expertise, necessarily.
“I’m too busy” – Time becomes more and more precious in our society, it seems. We are all running around juggling work, family, parents, etc. Time is also a very good excuse for us to avoid focusing on our personal brands- figuring out our uniqueness, passion and contribution to society as a person. It’s much easier to focus on our substantive work (see #1 above) because it is safer and within our comfort zone. We have less chance for failure and less opportunity to find out about ourselves and fix things that don’t serve us well. Find time or else pay the price later.
Ignore the ‘signs’ and feedback- It is so difficult for us to accept criticism or be willing to look at ourselves and see what we are doing not so well. It takes serious guts and a desire to succeed to be willing to explore yourself and your personal brand. I have deep respect for every client of mine for this reason. I often get comments stating that personal branding is “fluff” and irrelevant. These comments often come from those who are afraid to be better- better people, better leaders, better employees and better service providers. To have an effective personal brand, you’ve got to be willing to stop and assess what the world has to say about you and your brand,- the good, the bad and the ugly. How else will you improve, excel and be happier in life?
Yes, 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!
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
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
I was working with a client who was fed up. He was so frustrated with why his brand was not consistent. Well, rather he was upset with why his personal brand was not consistently generating more business for him. When I asked him what he wanted his personal brand to “say” about him, he went off on a tangent that ultimately led to his confession. He wanted MORE RESPECT from others. Very honest of him, and interesting.
Well, who the heck wouldn’t want to be respected? What respect signals is that we all want to ultimately be wanted and loved by others. That’s fair and a good goal. However, we can’t force people to respect us and thus, love us. It just doesn’t work that way. It took my client a long time to “get” this notion. I mean, we all “get” it, but to really “own” the concept is another thing.
As Lynne Twist says in one of my all-time favorite books, “The Soul of Money”, the concept of sufficiency means that we believe that there is enough for everyone to have “some” and that no one has to go without. There is plenty of abundance available for us all. We just need to focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have. In this way, what we have (and thus want more of) grows.
So what does this have to do with you getting more respect? Well, you can’t force others to respect you. You can’t force them to love you. You can’t get respect by feeling inadequate and entitled to it. That’s a nasty personal brand. It doesn’t work in business or in personal lives.
The only way to get respect is to first GIVE and expect nothing back in return. I know that notion may be cliche’ sadly. However, it is the only way your personal brand (and business/career) thrives.
So stop and think about the last time you did something for someone just because it was the kind thing to do. Where you expected absolutely nothing in return, but got a ton back in return. The positive stuff you get back (business, clients, referrals, money, love) doesn’t even have to show up from the original recipient of your good deeds. It just shows up because you had a strong personal brand and you gave. You just have to accept it and be grateful.
Now go out there and generate a fantastic personal brand by just giving.