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 you – and you are by definition a unique individual. Think of your personal brand an expression of yourself.
Commandment #2 – Sell Your Signature, Not Your Soul
Like 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 thinking 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?