- Who & Why?
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘branding’
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.
So my husband and I LOVE Chipotle. I mean really love it. We are not burrito people, but we love their burrito bowls. We find it healthy and fast and I actually find the brand very fun and on point. I was very sad when they partnered with McDonald’s for a short bit. Then they came back to their senses.
Here’s my issue: every time I go to Chipotle, it is like pulling teeth to get the folks behind the counter to give me more than 4 shreds of lettuce in my burrito bowl. It is so bad that last time I was in there I literally put my hands to my head and said to them, “Oh my goodness. What am I mis-communicating here to you?” It was meant to be a sad “throw my hands up in the air” question. Funny thing was, they just stared at me with this look like, “we’ve been taught to conserve how much we put into your burrito bowl”.
Now I run a business. So I really get precious resources and inventory. Chipotle can’t be scooping out all the meat, toppings and lettuce that people want. If they did, they would be out of business and we’d all be extra fat and stuffed.
However, as much as I love Chipotle I find myself dreading going up to the counter and begging for a few more shreds of lettuce. I mean it is lettuce and it is not an overly expensive topping- especially in California where produce is cheap.
So if I love Chipotle this much and I dread going, what does this say for someone who goes in for the first time and runs into my issue in any way, shape or form? To me it says that the Chipotle brand is suffering. All it takes is training your staff better on the execution fine points of servicing customers: give them enough to keep them happy and our personal and business brand healthy, but don’t give them so much that you break the bank and get fired.
What does this mean for you? Next time you are providing any type of customer or client service stop and think:
– Am I skimping on the lettuce and leaving the client/customer frustrated, with a poor personal brand perception of me and my business
-Am I giving with the mentality of abundance and wanting to be ‘of service’ balanced with the need to run an effective and efficient business, thus a powerful and balanced personal and business brand?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the word, “self” and in particular, how people perceive themselves and others in relation to the word, “selfish”. All of this inquiry leads to the conclusion that people with a strong sense of self have strong personal brands. By a strong sense of self, I am referring to being able to love themselves, express their authentic selves and bring this notion to their work and careers with ease and grace. This equals one fantastic personal brand.
Often when people call us “selfish” it is because they can’t value the healthy boundaries we’ve established. Likely, they also don’t have good boundaries themselves. That’s why saying “no” or establishing any other type of boundary with them makes them feel unloved and rejected and thus, they call us selfish.
In fact, it is just the opposite. In her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection”, Berne Brown points out that in order to have compassion, we must be able to have good boundaries. Otherwise, we are not genuine because we feel resentful of not being able to say “no” or hold our boundary. Then we feel taken advantage of and “unloved”
If you can’t be compassionate towards yourself enough to set boundaries, then you can’t be compassionate towards others.
Now that’s selfish, if you ask me.