Take care of your Personal Brand and your Professional Brand will take care of you.
Brand U was developed to nurture the personal brand of an individual. In my career, I’ve met countless business owners and career professionals who could move mountains with the inspiration of their own story. If only they knew the quality of their personal brand – I’d be a loyal customer. The fact is, most of them don’t take care of their personal brand or don’t even know there is one inside of them. Think about it – if Tiger Woods knew his personal brand would destroy his professional brand; do you think he would have done something different? The fact that he didn’t take care of his personal brand doesn’t take away the fact that he is the world’s greatest golfer. But his personal brand certainly took away the value of his professional brand.
The key is to understand how you naturally appeal to your audience, thus enabling you to create more value within your professional brand. Let’s take one of my people of inspiration – Oprah. She’s a household name, billionaire, humanitarian and a lot of other things to other people. But the most consistent thing she portrays regardless of all the money, assets and foundations, etc., is the fact that she is socially human. What I mean by this is - if you didn’t know any better, Oprah can be your aunt or best friend. She comes across to millions of people relatable. She may have never known what being homeless is really like – but you would never know it. Her compassion for people shows through her personal brand.
Sometimes people take a person who is a perfectionist as always on the edge. I think it’s them taking care of their own personal brand. Let’s face it, could you really trust putting your reputation into someone else hands without playing a key role in what that may look like? My best advice to anyone is “take care of your personal brand and your professional brand will take care of you”. Using the Internet can help position your personal brand and attempt to give you control of what you want people to know about you. Stop letting Facebook and Twitter do this for you. Brand U position you to the world that allows them to make an informed decision about who you are. It connects the professional and social-human side of you that ultimate creates your personal brand that people react too. No longer are we judge on “how well of a good job we do”, but we are immensely judge on how we take care of our personal lives. You and I both know that as a professional, unless you are under a rock – personal situations can affect your professional outcome. (ie. Tiger Woods). I digress here.
Here are some tips on getting started on developing your personal Brand U website:
1. Professional Photo shoot (Cost: $20.00+ | Value: Priceless)
Picture People (you can find them in your nearest mall) does a great low cost job of snapping a very professional and “creative” photo of you to use within your Brand U website. Please don’t give me a photo with you and your best friend having fun at 6 flags and expect me to work wonders – I’ll show you the door. The photo needs to be crisp and clean and on a white background. (That’s it – nothing else).
Hint: Provide a few shots for different pages.
2. Content is King
Writing may not be at the very top of your list amongst all the other things on your plate. But if you had an opportunity to tell the world about you – now is the time to write. First: Simply create a “short list” of the things you want people to know about you. Take in consideration this information will become public domain. For me, I want people to know about my background in a “biography”, the companies I’ve created and I want them to see some of my work. I’ve also included some of my rants about certain situations – but hey, that’s just the human side of me.
For each “top level item” (ie. Biography, Companies, News & Press, Blog) write a “brief” paragraph for each section. Remember, you can place other links under these sections so limit them to around 4 of 5 max – 3 is a great number. When you’ve done that, jot down little pages that will go underneath each. Share things that tell a story about you. Things that inspire you, photos, audio, video – whatever you have, stuck it in there. Show your social-human side.
Remember this is a mix of the human-side-of-you and professional side of you that ultimately creates your personal brand. So share things that created inspiration for you that got you to that next milestone in your career or life.