A Year of Getting Personal
by Eric Hultgren, MLive Media Group
Good news, you are a personal brand. Even if you don’t feel like it, the people you meet, the people you are connected to, and the brands you represent all have a perception of you – which makes you in the abstract sense, a brand. This is not about an amazing logo or the color scheme that you will use for your personal brand – this is about how people perceive you online and how what you do for the next 12 months can increase sales, leads, appointments, or adoption rates of puppies depending on what you are trying to achieve.
To understand your personal brand, it is easiest to break the brand of “you” into five pillars. Those pillars are:
Values: What is it that you are willing to stand up for. This is the backbone of who you are as a person. The set of abstract rules that create how you see the world around you which in turn, impacts how you interact with your world.
Purpose: This is how you are going to make the world a better place by you being in it. What is the impact you will make over the course of your life by combining your values with actions, that is your purpose.
Community Service: If we think of your purpose as the action, community service is the geographic fence over the act. This is where many people get confused about the digital ecosystem. You are not trying to get “all of the people” to consume your content you want the “right” people to listen/watch/download and when you care deeply about that community your online community will grow as a side effect. If you want to read more about this, look up Kevin Kelly’s “1000 True Fans.”
Skill Set: There is a scene in the first Taken with Liam Neeson, where he tells the antagonist in the movie “What I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.” You have your own set of particular skills; those skills make you stand out in your industry and someone that customers want to hear from.
Perceptions: This is where we started this post because it is impossible to control but important to understand. Perceptions are what your community/customers think about you as a salesperson, real estate agent, pastor, or just as a human. If you are creating content of value on a consistent basis the perceptions of your community will grow and they will start sharing your insight to their circle of influence and now you are building your brand.
Here is the warning, this is not a formula for overnight success. Building a personal brand that is platform agnostic, meaning if Facebook goes away and TikTok becomes NBC you have content ready for it because you have been creating the entire time – is a longtail. However, if you invest in that longer journey the rewards will be something that just might profoundly change your life, one post at a time.