Be More Successful: Create "Me Inc."
By Karla Brandau
In our chaotic lives filled with confusing messages from a plethora of competitors, a personal brand makes you impossible to ignore and prevents you from becoming a familiar but overlooked commodity like wheat, sugar or coffee beans. Commodities are bought and sold every day on the world market with their prices determined by supply and demand forces. The brand with the best perceived value has the advantage and achieves greater results.
The days are gone when you could just show up, do your work, and expect to get noticed. In our global economy, bright and brilliant people all over the world compete for the same positions. Many are willing to work for commodity-like prices. Developing your "Me Inc." will brand yourself and create a distinctive value enabling you to stand above your closest competitors. This is true whether you are an entrepreneur, a small or mid-size business owner, or an individual pushing for a promotion to the executive suite.
Personal branding is a natural aspect of how people evaluate one another. You don't need a master's degree in marketing to put it to work. Personal branding lets you control how other people perceive you. You're telling them what you stand for but in a way that's so organic and unobtrusive they think they've developed that perception all by themselves.
Personal branding--creating "Me Inc."--takes your skills, personality and unique characteristics and packages them into a powerful identity that increases your visibility in crowded markets. It starts with the way you walk, talk and dress and includes your education, profession, car, friends, and choice of neighborhoods. Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin has found a unique way to brand her physical appearance. She wears a colorful flower on the left side of her suit, creating a unique branding perception that is easily recognizable.
Complete branding, however, is not just good grooming, polished shoes, the car you drive, or how you present your business card. After these physical, outer branding characteristics, creating "Me Inc." moves to the heart and soul with attitudes and emotions. To more fully develop your brand:
- Exhibit enthusiasm and a positive attitude
- Demonstrate persistence and the ability to follow through and lock in commitments
- Live with integrity and honor your commitments
Which of these branding virtues describes you? Did you realize that others can also brand you? Are they branding you as negative or positive... as undependable or dependable?
After branding your physical appearance and your attitudes, move to the final step: your nature and brain. Accomplish this third step by distinguishing yourself by branding your innate talents, knowledge and skills:
- Innate talents - What is easy for you? What do you like to do? What behavior when repeated seems to be executed like magic?
- Knowledge - What do you know that could be branded?
- Skills - What skills have you practiced over and over until the gap between potential and actual is hardly recognizable?
As an example, if you want to be a better sales professional, you need an innate talent for persuasion then in-depth product knowledge and a quiver filled with sales skills and techniques. Perfect your step three by practicing your skills whether selling your ideas inside or outside your organization and focus on your closing techniques. The good news is that which is practiced, improves.
Innate Talents + Knowledge Learned + Skills Practiced = More Complete Self Brand & Results
Creating "Me Inc." distinguishes and differentiates you and enables you to shine through the crowd of people vie for promotions or competing for the same customer. As you develop your brand and operate from deep inside, you will become a virtual magnet, pulling people to you who want to do business with you or who will be willing to give you more responsibility in your organization. Through this process, you catapult yourself into an elite league of achievers.
Karla Brandau, CSP, is an expert in change, leadership and team building in the flat world. She offers keynotes and workshops to move your organization forward. Sign up for her monthly newsletter, From the Desk of Karla Brandau by going to Karla Brandau.com. Karla is available for consultation on how to reduce stress and increase efficiency in your workplace. Call 770-923-0883 to schedule some time with Karla today.