Archive for the ‘ten commandments of branding’ Category

Ten Commandments of Personal Branding – #3: Like a Bee, Be the Buzz

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

bumble_beeA sparkling personal brand doesn’t alight on the musty, dusty, bored, and tired among us. You and your content must be compelling, useful and provocative enough to create buzz. That means you must stay on top of trends, perhaps set trends and know the other thought leaders and trend-setters. But, it also means you have to wake up every morning with the idea that today you get to do the greatest job in the world: your job.

Commandment #3: Like a Bee, Be the Buzz

Geez, wake up with a smile and go to work? If that’s what you’re feeling, it’s a great sign that you are in the wrong field.

I recently met a real sparkler of an MD, amidst a long line of doctors who clearly looked like they wished they had studied architecture, plumbing or anything other then medicine. I’m on a trek to manage a back injury, so I’ve been touched, tapped and talked to by an array of specialists. Some of them are the chairmen of their departments at major university hospitals (after all, I live in Los Angeles, so why not start at the think tanks, right?). Others are on the “best in the West” type of lists. Still more have been recommended to me by all the right people – the right people being other injured, aching (or formerly so) patients who are well connected.

Most of the docs have marketers are on their staffs or at their hospitals who’ve done a great job of creating and leveraging their brands. Some of their waiting rooms look like home theaters with big screens, beaming out movie quality videos and surround sound. You sip fresh coffee (made cup by pressed cup) and watch people laugh, dance and smile – with just a little band-aid where the scar will form.

Unfortunately, the docs themselves can be really uninspiring, unimaginative and boringdisengaged. Honestly, my back is a wreck, so it’s really open to discussion about what’s the root cause and the right modality for taking care of it. But, I was beginning to think that bad backs are not only confounding, they bore physicians.

So when I met Dr. Frederick A. Davis, Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at an HMO, I was enthralled. Here was a man with lots of years in his specialty and a mean machine that made my nerves scream as he tested them. But, he talked about the results as he was getting them, made sense of them for me – and spoke glowingly about the developments in his field. He also personally called the doctor he referred me to, to make sure his insights catalyzed a fresh look at my case. I was buzzing with hope when I left his office (which was clean but not spiffy at all).

The best buzz is real talk about real character and really good deeds. Sure bees sting, but they also make honey. What do you do?

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Ten Commandments of Personal Branding – #2: Sell Your Signature, Not Your Soul

Friday, December 4th, 2009

With personal branding, you must develop and communicate a signature style, tone, approach, point of view or set of wares. It’s harder and harder to create unique products and services, but your ability to be a unique purveyor of whatever you’re selling should be pretty simple. That’s because your personal brand is youand you are by definition a unique individual. Think of your personal brand an expression of yourself.

Commandment #2 – Sell Your Signature, Not Your Soul

pablo_picassLike Picasso or Diego Rivera, you might have different “periods” or show the signs of changing influences, but that should reflect your growth – or ability to not only follow trends, but to set them.

By creating and leveraging your personal brand whenever there’s the opportunity to engage with other people, you are selling yourself. Don’t confuse that with selling your soul or selling out. Integrity and staying true to your values and voice are key; in fact, they are the basis of your long-term success.

No matter what you think of what you’re doing at this moment in time – maybe you’re under performing because: it’s just in this job, just this gig, just this relationship – you must see this point as somewhere along the line of your building your entire reputation, body of work, how people understand who you are today (and what your potential is).

So, even if you have found yourself temporarily in a poor fit, you want to approach the situation, challenge or opportunity with a signature style.

For example, when US Airways pilot Chesley Sullenberger III saved all 150 passengers as his plane ditched into the Hudson River, he was praised for being heroic and masterful. There’s no way “Sully” had not only practiced his mechanical maneuvers often enough to save the day in that emergency, he had practiced helpingthinking and acting masterfully for years. On the average day, that might mean looking out for a elderly woman who seemed a bit lost in his local supermarket. It might mean not turning in for the night without checking to see that all the doors and windows at home were locked.

You want to practice your signature style now, so you can be received as the unique and ideal new employee, person for that exciting new project, consultant for that top-notch client or team leader for your organization.

What is your signature now? Take a hard look, ask people who know you or just compare yourself to someone you admire. What qualities do you want to develop and convey, so everyone wants your signature?

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