Personal Brand Power
What do you think when you think of Martin Luther King? Richard Branson? Madonna? All these successful people have made their names synonymous with something. Freedom. Entrepreneurship. Entertainment.
This is the power of a personal brand. It was powerful before the Internet took over our lives and it only becomes more possible to build your own as we see the current form of the internet evolve.
Your personal brand is how the world sees you. What you are about. With each of us now having multiple channels where we can show the world what we are about, it becomes possible to influence how we are seen. When Michael Jackson was labelled a paedophile, he didn’t have much he could do about how the world perceived him. He could only hope that taking his case to court would exonerate him, however some people had seen and heard enough to tarnish his personal brand forever.
People and companies in the past needed a publicist in order to manage their brand, but now with social media and the internet you can do it for yourself.
For me, I’m concerned about how can you can use your personal brand to showcase who you are and what makes you special. This will, with time and work, help you to show that you have value in some way, whether it be your intelligence, beauty, passion, likeability or creativity.
Here are some solid advantages that building your personal brand with purpose will give you:
- You can influence how people see you and control your own narrative. People will always try to define you in order to control you. If you are a minimum wage worker by day but a budding musician by night, then you can build a personal brand that shows us this.
2. You can get your gift out to the people who need it. If you expand your personal brand out from just being simply an intangible thing and turn it into a solid entity like a business or a charity, then you can use it to be the platform through which we experience your gift. When Kanye West makes music, he puts in hard work in order to let the world share in his genius through something tangible like an album. I feel his frustration as he tries to branch out and do more.
3. You can advertise and sell what you have. We sell through attraction. A compelling personal brand will intrigue people and build enough trust with them for them to value what you offer enough for them to exchange their money for your product. In the past you needed to get a big company with a brand to sell your book, record or film but now all you need is a camera and a YouTube account. Stephen Crowder, conservative commentator and comedian, sells T-shirts, mugs and subscriptions to his show through his personal brand.
So how do you build your personal brand? I think it must be done with authenticity and honesty. In the age of being bombarded with a lot of content, we have become good at smelling out the bull crap. We have a nose for the authentic and the real. Speak your truth. No need to lie. No need to fake it till you make it. More people will resonate with your struggle than with your made up success. More people want to hear your story rather than the stories that you heard.
That’s why I think it is better to document rather than create. If vlogging, blogging or podcasting tell us what you are living. Too many want to create this fascinating story that will rival Youtubbers like King Bach and Destorm Power. But not all of us are creative dynamos in this way. However some of us are workaholics, some are lovers, some are geeks, some are good debators, some are patient teachers. There are people who are willing to hear those stories and if you are consistent enough, good enough and relevant you will have a measure of success getting out to the world.