Saturday, January 09, 2016

Personal Branding

I hope this article finds you refreshed in spirit and ready to tackle the New Year! The start of 2016 offers an appropriate opportunity to reflect on where we are, and more importantly, the path we are taking to prepare for our future.

Much ado is being made regarding "Personal Branding Trends For 2016." There's a lot of advice out there but it's not all good.

There is an overemphasis on apps and social networks. Frankly, even if you were able to apply all of the suggestions that are being put forth, you would, in the end, be quite exhausted and likely very discouraged as well.

So, let's do this right! Whether you are an aspiring artist, an e-Marketeer or an auto mechanic, a splash of style that others will recognize is the key to building your personal brand. It could be as simple as a color scheme or as complex as a lifestyle. You want to share your unique-ness while keeping yourself unique. For the start of 2015 my personal "poster girl" as an example of personal branding was a wonderful young lady named Paloma Elsesser. She was pictured as a sort of suggestion to readers to futher investigate who she is and what she does. The ones among you who did that were able to follow her through the year and to the point where she has come as of January 2016, know the deal.

Things don't always move as fast as we might like. But when they do - avalanche! Lovely Paloma is popular, she is influential. Don't worry or care about how rich or famous she is or isn't. The point, the lesson, the mark is that she is "out there." The right people either know who she is or they are hearing about her. She is original, unique, perfectly positioned for better things to happen. Whether they will or not is up to fate, be it the kindness and interest of another person, the hand of God, or the self-determination to grow and thrive.

Now, you really want to build your personal brand? For 2016 I'll use as examples two other "pretty people." Both these folks are larger than life. Don't let that scare you. Google Gigi Hadid. Google Karl Lagerfeld. Read their bios. Check out the history behind the scenes of their respective careers. Then come back here.

Now that you're back, how do you feel? Impressed? Intimidated? Inspired? What do Gigi and Karl have? (Besides fame and fortune and a connection to the fashion iindustry.) If your answer is "unique style" you are 100% correct. That "style" in itself is the key to each person's "brand," yours and mine! What sticks in your mind after checking out these two individuals? That is the effect YOU want to have on others. YOU want people to remember you, with distinction. An attribute, a look, a trademark or logo of some sort. That is the backbone of a personal brand. Not how many apps you can connect with one another. If you have no brand and are essentially no one, sooner or later that persona is going to become apparent - transparent to others. What are your interests? What is special about you that you "show off" to others? Find that, and you have the cornerstone of a "life foundation."

Engage the media. Let those whose job it is to find and spread news know about YOU. Now, you could issue a hundred press releases via email and none will blip on anyone else's radar. But there is always that one chance, that one instance, that one person who may take note and notice, and then BAM! ConsiderGi gi and Karl or another leader or role model and look at how they are presented to the world. Don't be a copycat, but DO BE AN INNOVATOR! Introspect yourself. Then put your uniqueness, your "keywords' out there.

Watch the trends. Where are the winners hanging out? If those you want to connect with are all on facebook, that's your destination. Hop aboard twitter, Instagram, WeChat, Weibo and KiK. Once you sign up on one of these social conduits, you don't have to be posting every minute. I signed up for twitter very early on and didn't use it to full potential until blogs started tanking a bit. The great thing was, I already had my "twitter handle" - having "reserved" it long ago!

Be ready. I've been on LinkedIn forever. I have thousands of connections, but rarely use the 275-million member service. I once signed on to a couple of "groups" but quickly left after discovering they mostly were being used as a kind of spam, promoting junk ideas or marketing products. But I'm a "member" and may find LinkedIn useful in the future. Should that happen, should I need to perform a bit of "networking," my account is more than ready to roll!

What's next? Go back and re-read the personal branding article I posted last year. It's still valid and I sincerely hope it helps YOU!

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