Here’s something to think about. Have you ever tried to persuade children to eat their vegetables? Tried to convince someone that your way is better, easier, or faster? If you have ever tried to convince, persuade, or influence someone then guess what? You were selling something. You were selling your point of view. If you’ve ever gone on a job interview, you were definitely pitching a product. The product was you. The fact is we all do a little selling every day.
Whether you want to make a good impression at social events, establish a reputation as a dynamic leader in your community, or build a business, you’re selling yourself, your image, and what makes you valuable and unique. It’s called self-promotion. Those words are certainly cringe worthy because it sounds like deliberate bragging.
However, like it or not, the image you’re selling to others, is your own personal brand which influences every aspect of your life. Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities, but each and every one of us is a brand. It’s all about who we are and what we want to be known for. What makes us unique? What’s really important to us?
Director Stephen Spielberg has been known to include only two words in his bio. The two words are Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. He says his photography merit badge is what kicked off his Hollywood career. The requirement was to tell a story using still pictures. He asked if he could use a movie camera from home instead. He made a 3 minute film called Gunsmog, after the popular TV show Gunsmoke. Evidently the rank of Eagle Scout is still important to him and makes him unique.
What’s your personal brand? Don’t have one? You might want to think about it. Why? Because everything you do communicates the essence of who you are. From the way you handle phone conversations and email to the way you conduct meetings, you are selling yourself and your brand.
Start thinking about Brand YOU. Make a list of words that best describe your personality. What ideas and thoughts popup as soon as someone hears your name? Are you creative, insanely organized, dependable, fun, a motivator?
Then write down exactly what it is you do and what you have to offer. What makes you stand out from everyone else? Now combine them into a short phrase, no more than five words. Your personal brand should communicate clearly who you are, be simple and memorable, and make you feel inspired.