Above: Gisele Bundchen built a personal brand that outperformed the Dow Jones
Pic Credit: http://giselebundchen-online.com/page/23/
“To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” - Tom Peters
Why should you develop your personal brand?
And why it is such an effective strategy in completely changing your business and career for the better?
You already have a personal brand. Ask Google. Enter your name into its search bar.
What results do you see? And do these reflect your highest quality and potential?
Of the 75% of US adults who Google themselves, nearly half say the results aren’t positive.
There is a strong and clear correlation between personal branding and higher levels of success.
Whether you are building a profile as a public speaker, as a corporate leader, an author, a politician, a sportsperson, a social activist or a celebrity blogger, personal branding is one of the most effective business strategies available to you.
Without ‘getting’ this, you are likely to carry on investing a lot of time, money and energy into your business or career, without the kind of exposure, credibility and increased reward you are seeking.
Whilst this may seem obvious, perhaps you don’t yet understand the magnitude and power of personal branding.
Consider this: Gisele Bundchen started her career as a model.
With her success, brands naturally approached her to be the face of their brands. Representing products for Proctor & Gamble, and brands such as Esprit and Volkswagen, it became noticeable that these products increased sales and share value quickly with Gisele representing them. P&G sales in Latin America, for example, rose 40% shortly after Gisele became the face of the brand
In turn, this lead economist Fred Fuld to create ‘The Gisele Bundchen Stock Index’, to measure the performance of the companies she represented. Perhaps it's no surprise, she outperformed the Dow Jones
Such is the power of personal branding.
Pic Credit: Stockerblog.com
Personal branding has helped individuals stand out in every industry and facet of life from food (Jamie Oliver), to dog-training (Cesar Millan), to cartoons (Bart Simpson), to soccer players (David Beckham), to tidying up (Marie Kondo). Celebrities like Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey, and Richard Branson are so well branded that any product that carries their name is likely to have stellar success and sales.
And there’s no doubt that personal branding got the last two US presidents elected.
These celebrity personal brands are household names, yes. But here’s the great news: personal branding is helping people just like you, to create value, career opportunities and financial wealth every day. You can leverage the same strategies they do. You can build brand equity just like they have.
And in this course, I’ll introduce you to some personal brands on the rise, doing just that.
Something I’d like to clarify before we go further is this: In this course, we will often use examples of personal brands who are well-known celebrities, simply because they are easier, and well-known examples. However, whilst it's true to say celebrity brands are a type of personal brands, they do not define personal branding.
Personal Branding is for Everyone
The greatest area of growth in personal branding is in the corporate marketing with career executives and those entering the corporate market. If this is you, you are known as a Careerist.
According to Business Week, 87% of headhunters use Google and social networks
to make decisions about candidates. And 3 out of 4 recruiters have eliminated someone because of what they saw online.
The first thing a prospective employer is going to do is Google you. Then they’ll check your Facebook and other social media platforms. How you present yourself, your application materials and your dress code speak volumes to them before they have even read a word on your CV.
At any level of employment, branding yourself can help colleagues more easily get to know who you are, what you stand for, and what you are expert at. It can facilitate career promotion.
Developing your personal brand packages you in a professional way that makes sure that who you are on the inside (what they can’t see), will show on the outside (your personal brand)
Vesting your business in your personal name and identity can be a powerful strategy that can help you stand out as much as corporate businesses and their product brands, if not more. Even better is that people relate to people and entrepreneurs can become aspirational heroes that inspire others.
More than ever, businesses understand the value and influence of personal brands within their own organization. These intrapreneurs become the face of the organization to the public (Elon Musk), they spread influence, inspire trust and gain attention.
And that trust leads to good business. A 2016 Neilson Report states that 77% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company when they hear about it from someone they trust.
Benefits of Personal Branding
By packaging you, who you are, what you stand for, what you offer, what defines you, you become tangible. In an online busy world, you become real and distinct.
When people ask, what do you do, or what are you known for, your personal brand literally answers that question upfront. People find it easier to know where to place you in their mind, and when, and why they should listen to you.
Once you realize and leverage the business and social value of who you are, it has the side-effect of lifting your own standards. You raise your game. You raise your expectations of yourself and begin to focus your energy. You narrow your message. You challenge yourself and become more effective and productive. Even as an introvert, your confidence grows as you engage with the world. You could find yourself working less and earning more.
It’s the mindset that characterizes the entrepreneur, and it’s an incredibly powerful state of mind.
The clarity in your image and message, together with what you stand for eventually attracts attention. As you put yourself out there, you become ‘findable’. Recognizable. People may want to follow you, listen to you and give you their time, energy and attention. When you speak, people are more likely to listen. When you produce content, people are more likely to be interested. They may want to engage with you, hire you, quote you. Opportunity begins to find you instead of you trying to find it. You go from you trying to sell you to people wanting to buy you.
Your personal brand can become associated with expertise, authority or abilities in an area. Your potential stands out. You become known for what you are good at, what you have done, what you can do. Your credibility, following and reference grow.
As you share your content and involve people in your brand, they walk a path with you. Through positive and consistent interactions, matched with your authenticity, the perception of your credibility and trustworthyness grows, and people begin to follow you, give you their time and attention. The relationship builds, and their loyalty deepens. They become customers and evangelise your brand to others.
Your brand can help build relationships and networks. Your authenticity can influence and inspire people. You can motivate them to transformational change. They will connect with you, identify with you and resonate with you. They will remember you. This connection influences and inspires more people, who in turn can go on to impact others.
New doors open, and new opportunities begin to arise. Your network grows, and with it, social and business prospects, you might not have been offered in the past, begin to materialise.
The greater popularity and following, the greater your brand’s perceived value. You are paid more for the value you create, not for your time. For this, you can charge more, earn more. That wealth creation can, in turn, create more value, opportunities, service and impact, in your life and the lives of others.
Personal Brands can bring change to the world. Oprah got America reading, Jamie Oliver is using his influence to change the way children are eating. And through the Third Metric, Arianna Huffington is making Americans think about their well-being and what really matters in life.
Do the Exercise
Do the Exercise in your My Personal Brand Workbook
Tools and Resources
The Value of Personal Branding