Personal branding appears to be at the crux of what can make or break a business venture, is a factor in whether or not you have 50 followers or 5000 and is a term that is tossed around almost as much as ‘web 2.0’ in industry blogs. But what exactly does a brand of me (or you) consist of?
Chris Brogan described a personal brand as a combination of “reputation, trust, attention, and execution”, I agree entirely on these four but would jump to add one more to the mix: personality. Now lets break down the Brand of Me into 5 parts and hopefully along the way you’ll get inspired to discover your own personal brand.
A personal brand without reputation is tantamount to a snake oil salesman or a cheesy internet marketer who throws up squeeze pages promising to make your rich with no work in 10 days while helping you lose ten pounds. Your reputation on and offline is essential to your brand, if your reputation is spotless your brand will be trusted by others and positive reviews about your brand will flow freely.
This goes hand in hand with reputation but differs slightly in that there are several people I know of that have great reputations but few I trust personally. Trust is built from reputation + relationship and it can be formed several ways like through your participation with others on social media platforms, or by being an expert in your field in forums, or through a blog that provides great quality on a regular basis. So after you’ve decided you aren’t go to sell crap and your reputation is important to you it’s time to pick which way you can build trust with others.
If you want to promote your brand, develop your persona and garnish a following who trusts you then attention is a top priority. If it wasn’t for attention Mashable would be nothing more than a site with a funny name and Tim Ferriss would just be a guy who lays down in crowded places to prove a point. But because of millions of eyes and ears are tuned to them Mashable is a staple for millions of web browsers and Ferriss is a cult figure to hundreds of thousands across the globe. You must decide how your unique personal brand will command attention, I favor videos, blogs and social media channels to attract attention to my ‘personal brand’. Your tastes may be much different, maybe you’ll write a book and self publish it on lulu.com or will be known as the gal who dominates facebook.
Dreams are just realities waited to be acted upon. If you want to build a powerful brand around what it is you do or love then you are going to have to execute in a big way. Your actions can take on many forms but execution is critical because no good idea has gotten off the ground without it. Lists and planning helps a dream not only become a reality but gives you the road map to success, knowing that if you do A, B and then C eventually X will happen. Honestly execution or “action” is the hardest part for many people, but if you can harness it you’ll succeed in life in a huge way.
The last component to a rocking personal brand is well, personality. The brand of me is going to be as boring as toast if there isn’t a good dose of personality behind it. Any very successful person is known for certain characteristics and traits that make up their personality, without these they’d just be another talking head. Spend time developing your ‘personality’ make sure it is true to your goals and dreams while making sure your public persona will be engaging to others. Those with massive personalities often isolate people who are annoyed by them, but they also create cult following of those who are attracted to their personal brand. Better to isolate a million and secure the loyality and love of 10,000 then to be luke warm towards everyone.
Now it’s time for you to take a look at your life, your dreams or entrepreneurial endeavors and ask yourself if what you want to do needs a strong personal brand behind it to succeed? If the answer is no ask yourself could a personal brand hurt? Probably not, especially in this world of increasing transparency where CEO’s tweet to customers and you can Google just about anyone’s name and find results. If you start now developing your brand of me you’ll do far better than trying to throw one together after your business has taken off or years into a career.