- Who & Why?
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘genuine image’
As the seasons continue to shift deliberately this October, we continue our Deliberate Brand Creation this week. As I said last week, I’m putting my own spin on Oprah’s October 2014, “What I Know For Sure” column in her O Magazine. As I’ve said in the past, I have a lot of appreciation and respect for Oprah’s presence in this world.
This week, let’s explore how being genuine or “real” about who you are is such a big part of your deliberate brand creation. I like to call it “owning” who you are.
I am not a fan of labeling people as introverts or extroverts. However, once I read Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet”, I became a fan of the concept of introverts and extroverts. Let’s explore these concepts with your brand.
As Oprah said in her October column, when she was younger she used to go to parties even when she didn’t want to be there because she didn’t want to miss anything. As I’ve often said, this desire to be at a party or to run home could be a function of who you are as an extrovert or introvert.
I suppose I am what you would call an extrovert. I get energy from those parties and enjoy being there meeting new people. I know it and can count on it most often.
As Cain explains, it is natural for extroverts to want to stay at the party and get energy from being there. However, the introvert would want to fly out of the party and head home to be alone.
Neither is right nor wrong. The point is you need to know what works for you. If you are an introvert and you force yourself to stay at that party, then there are issues to deal with as a result. Not only will you be miserable, but your personal brand will be poor, as well. If you ain’t happy, no one else will want to be around you at the party, either.
Why would you want to do that to yourself and others? I suppose it is because we compare. An introvert will look around at the party and see the extroverts having “fun”. The introvert will assume something is “wrong” with him/her because she is not having fun. In order to fit it, the introvert stays at the party- stays miserable.
As an extrovert, I can actually say I’ve walked in the introvert’s shoes at some parties. There have been plenty of times when I haven’t wanted to be somewhere but forced myself to go. Each time I did so, I paid the price: my confidence was low, my stress was high, I was bitter and angry at myself and thus, bitter and unfriendly to others at the party. It was awful and so was my brand. I suppose I assumed that just because I am an extrovert, I should WANT to be there. People expect it of me, right? Wrong! I wasn’t being real and “owning” myself in those moments.
So stop and ask yourself, how well do you “own” your tendencies as an extrovert or introvert? Once you can “own” it for what it is and who YOU are, then you are well on you way of creating a deliberate brand that is real, genuine and attracts people naturally to you.
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?
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 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).
It’s always been the case that celebrities are signed on to endorse products and services because their popularity and brand has power over consumers to persuade us to buy what they are endorsing. Oddly enough, we want to buy into the celebrity lifestyle. We unfortunately assume that if we buy Nike products, we’ll be more of a pro golfer like Tiger Woods. It’s all part of the emotional “joy” factor that I write so much about.
But there’s a new twist developing on this concept it seems. Celebrities are no longer just figureheads. Now these ‘titled” brand endorsers are being asked to have real weigh-in on the products and services they endorse. The real question is why? Do you really want Kim Kardashian to weigh-in on shoes or clothes or perfume content??!
No longer is it enough for a celebrity to do a commercial for their “favorite” coffee or clothing label, get their big check and call it a day. Now, they are being given real titles and asked for input into product development.
I believe some of the titles don’t mean anything. However, the concept is a smart one. In brand management, it is all about establishing that emotional connection with your audience- whoever is buying your product. Thus, if the celebrity has real input, or so we perceive they do, then as the audience we are that much more likely to be connected emotionally and invested in the product because the celebrity has their hands in it for “real” and the endorsement means more to us.
This concept is on the rise because society is jaded, post-Bernie Madoff, Enron recession. We are looking for genuine connection to genuine brands and people. We are really trying to put our hard-earned money where it counts- for us and for others.
So what does this mean for you? Well, if you are running a business, stop and think about how you can put this concept to use for your business success. You don’t need a celebrity endorsement. Just start thinking of your own celebrity-like personal brand power and how you can use it to sell quality and bring about emotional joy. If you are looking for a job, figure out how your own celebrity-like brand power can work to your benefit during the interview to get you that job.
EMAIL US A PRODUCT YOU BOUGHT BECAUSE OF THE CELEBRITY ENDORSING IT. WHY?