March 12, 2009

Brand You

John Cheese, Eldrick Irwin Estevez, Jennifer Anastassakis and Ralph Lifshitz needed to stand out above the crowd and create a strong distinct personal brand.

They didn’t start working even harder at their craft. All they did was change their names, shift our perception and create a destiny for themselves. They understood that by branding themselves as different, superior and authentic, they’d get under our skin. They’d be noticed.

Try and guess their names. You’ll find the answer at the end of this article.

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is where you package your skill, personality and uniqueness into a powerful identity which helps you stand out in the crowded, competitive marketplace.

Right now, whether you like it or not, you’re a brand. You’re either perceived as a no-name brand or as a SUPERSTAR brand. If you want to move up in your organisation, attract more clients or just want more dinner invites, you seriously need to take stock of the perception you’re creating.

One of the ways to find out how people currently perceive you is to ask a couple of trusted friends and colleagues what image you project. Don’t make it personal and get hurt if their perception of you is different to the one you have of yourself. You need to be brutally honest if you want to succeed in the branding stakes. Based on their answers, you’ll know if you’re on track or if you need to make some changes.

Who needs a personal brand?

If you’re living, breathing and working in South Africa, you do! If you’re in your own business you know that the competition is snapping at your heels (if they haven’t already overtaken you). And, if you’re employed you know that there are 50 people that are just as well qualified (if not better) to take over your job. Best you stand out and become noticed. If you want to get ahead in any endeavour you need to understand the rules of the game and then learn how to play the game to the best of your ability. Because, as you probably already know, it’s not always about who works hardest, its about who creates the best perception that ends up with the spoils.

How do you brand yourself?

Your personal brand is not only about differentiating yourself through your talk, walk and dress, your education, the car you drive, your follow up and how you keep commitments. It’s about being original, of superior quality and authenticity.

By creating the perception originality, superiority and authenticity, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a brand that will be noticed for the right reasons.

In his book, The Brand Called You, Peter Montoya gives some tips on how to brand you:

– Specialise – package yourself as a specialist in a smaller, more precise range of services.
– Positioning – stake out a place for yourself in the minds of your target market so that they identify you with a single powerful idea.
– Visibility – be seen. Become a master of public relations so that you can stay top-of-mind in your clients’ minds.

Take action now so that you can become an authentic, powerful and superior brand that’ll attract the right clients to yourself.

*    John Cleese, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Aniston and Ralph Lauren

Jacques de Villiers is a motivational speaker in South Africa

One Comment on “Brand You

March 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Blogged about branding today, then stumbled across your blog…


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