Personal Branding is like fight club!
“The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.” Paweł Jońca.
We all remember these words from Fight Club the movie, we also know once we have begun the personal branding journey to differentiate ourselves from our competition we are a little secretive about how we have done it.
So what if they find out? This would give them a chance to copy us right?
Just because you do Jeet Kun Do you does not make you Bruce Lee! A style of fighting or expertise may not suit us, we need to hone our skills and be the best we can be!
They may be able to copy our words, but then this just raises the bar; we then become more creative in building our personal branding strategy, we need to become more visible to the market, or we need to make a change in our careers and try to learn some different skills that are more in demand, perhaps becoming a small fish in a big pond!
Do not forget, we are all unique and we all have a different skill set and approach in business, this is what people buy into, they do not just buy into what you post on your social media channels or your CV they buy you as an individual.
It can take years to convert people into buying ‘Brand You.’
I have spent the last five years attempting to write something vaguely legible and in so developing a style and a certain level of gravitas and authority has meant that I have obtained an invitation to write for IBM.
This would not have been possible without spending a considerable amount of time honing my craft, working with my mentors to refine how I see myself, write about myself and speak about myself.
Arrogance could be your killer
Enter the ring with too much arrogance like boxer Prince Naseem did and eventually you get knocked out!
Positioning ‘You’ in your market is not an easy task, you are usually not an overnight success, you have to sweat, you have to work on how you talk about yourself, you have to work on how you speak to others and how you engage with others. If you are too arrogant you can kill a conversation before it happens, if you let your ego run away with you then this can seriously damage your chances too.
Remaining a little humble and taking important criticism is crucial, remember there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Being honest, empathetic and approachable are just some of the words that are important to think about when honing ‘Brand You!’ It may be you don’t want to be approachable perhaps but you need to take the time to consider the words carefully.
Continually building your knowledge base is key
You are always learning, when you visit your Kung-Fu teacher you usually learn that you have a long way to go! (if not then you need a new one)
If you are not knowledgable enough about your chosen subject then you need to read, watch and listen. This will allow you to develop your own informed opinions that hopefully you can deliver with a certain degree of authority.
There are people in our industry who share their opinions online, we may not agree with them, we accept them as experts when actually we should become more questioning in our minds and delve into the facts.
Once we have worked out why they have come to that conclusion in their mind and we think that we actually disagree it is good to tell the world of our “informed” opinion. If we do not have the facts or knowledge to backup our opinion then we should not speak!
Sometimes getting help from experts is necessary
If you were entering a boxing match or a mixed martial arts fight you would get some ‘humbling’ fight training from an expert coach!
I spent about 4 years developing my brand and then fortunately met a strategic brand marketer; he has spent some time mentoring me over the last few years. We use a similar process for creating personal brands as has been used for over 15 years by the DCLW consulting team for positioning corporate brands to their target market.
If you would like some strategic help with your brand or communications then please contact me on: – firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @natschooler