There are two topics that I write about that give me the harshest comments: Equality of Women and Personal Branding. Who knew that personal branding was such a lightning rod?
“People are NOT a brand”, commenters declare!
I don’t see it as relegating people to the prominence of a product and removing the human factor. But rather, I see it more as capitalizing on our ‘uniqueness factor’.
It could be that I’m not the marketing guru and I don’t understand what a brand entails. I know that when I see a coke bottle, even from a distance, I know it’s a coke bottle. I can tell that by the shape of the bottle and the format of the wording.
Some harsh reality here but some people are just more memorable than others.
Think about an event you’ve recently attended. If it was a networking event, you probably came back with loads of business cards. As you sifted through all of them, how well did you remember all of the people that you met? More than likely, you remembered those who stood out.
What Makes Some People More Illustrious Than Others?
It was probably because they did something, said something, or looked a certain way that planted those seeds in your memory. It’s the standouts who get the attention. If you’re looking to make an impact in your career or perhaps start a new business endeavor soon, you don’t want to be one of those who were not remembered!
It’s Not About Being Someone You’re Not
Knowing yourself and being genuine to your true identity is all you need to be. You don’t have to be Kim Kardashian and splatter your butt across computer screens in an effort to break the internet. Pretty sure we all have a butt. Nothing unique there. So be genuine to yourself and capitalize on what makes you unique.
Understanding Your Uniqueness
Do you know what makes you memorable, unique and relevant? Ask yourself the following:
What do you want to be known for?
What are you known for?
What do you offer? What’s your career talent?
What do you do better than anyone else?
What is it that sets you apart from everyone else?
In what ways do you lead instead of follow?
Look at your total package. Understand your personality attributes, your work style, your play style, and the interests, hobbies, and preferences you carry with you.
Your uniqueness even flows over to how you dress. Are you the “casual guy” in a world of suit and ties or are you the one with the tie when everyone else is in jeans? Maybe you’re the woman with killer heels. It all goes into your total package.
You decide how you want to be defined, not someone else.
Organizations are always looking for their competitive advantage – their discriminators. Their discriminators sets them apart from their competition. The same thing applies to you. It will be the message you’ll send out that will differentiate you from the competition and what you transmit is very powerful.
Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out
That doesn’t mean you have to be the life of the party or the center of attention. But don’t diminish the traits that make you unique. You don’t have to be like everyone else. Don’t tone down the traits that make you distinctive.
You know, school years can be harsh. Often times, you’d look for ways to “fit in” rather than stand out. When I was an undergrad, it was the era of “Izod Nation.” Kelly green and pink plaid shorts, Izod shirts (collar up) add-a-bead necklaces, knee high socks, boat shoes, accompanied with a little matching plaid purse. Very popular but far too “put together” for me.
I gravitated to what I might call, hippie shabby chic. I was more bohemian. Same holds true today. While at work, I may be the person who’s a bit more classically dressed up but on the weekends you’ll probably find me in a sundress, flip-flops, and hoop earrings with some scarf that could be on my head, around my neck, on around my waist. It’s not really in line with others I see at the farmer’s market on Saturday morning, but that’s just me. It’s my inner soul shining outward.
If you want to be memorable, re-discover or uncover the traits that make you, well, you. If you are resourceful, find ways to use your resourcefulness. If you are funny, use your humor to break the ice in meetings or even out of the workplace.
Your Core Values and Success Standards
Do you know your personal guiding principles and core values? What set of standards have you adopted that help you carry out initiatives? People will remember success and what drives you to success. These guiding principles provide a solid foundation from which decisions and actions take place. They become your compass for living. Again, if you were asked what standards and ideals you have established for yourself, it should roll off your tongue. It’s all a part of what makes you unique and memorable.
Know Your Sweet Spot
Your sweet spot is found at the crossroads of your strength and your passion. What habits have you adopted that spell success? What comes easy for you? Your sweet spot is what you leverage for success.
When you put yourself out there, it can be a bit scary. Be confident enough to stand out by being you – your genuine self. Nobody likes fake people. No one enjoys the company of someone whose life is portrayed as someone they are not. People are interested in, and are drawn to, genuineness. It helps people relate to you.
Show who you really are and be a person that other people will feel comfortable being around. You’ll be much more likely to be remembered.
If you’re good at what you do, understand who you are and what’s in your inner soul, you’ll know what makes you unique. That’s the bottom line. That’s what your personal brand is about. So…..what makes you unique?
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