When you think about people with great personal brands like Simon Cowell, P!nk, Oprah Winfrey, or Ellen Degeneres, you may believe it’s all about their charisma or talent. However, personal branding is about much more than that. Sure, a bit of charisma helps, as it does in all walks of life, but there are plenty of people who lack charm and have managed to build notable personal brands. So what are the secrets to building a powerful personal brand? Here are several things you can do today.
As much as we would all love to have what the above-mentioned stars have going for them, personal branding is about being authentic. That means, you can’t be me, and I can’t be you or any celeb out there that strikes our fancy. Being ourselves is powerful in itself. It’s what makes our lives worth living and sharing.
People around you, the ones you do business with or have personal relationships with want you for YOU! Whenever we fake it or disguise ourselves to be something we are not, we do a disservice to the world. We can also zap our self-confidence in the process. Believing you have to act or look like someone else to be popular or loved will surely destroy your life eventually.
Authenticity builds trust. If people feel safe with you because they understand who you are and what your values are, they will stick with you. This goes for business and personal. Your personal brand needs to shine through all your content and represent who you are. Make your core values, personality, and dreams known and then act them out before your audience.
Tell a Story
You may be concerned that you haven’t been authentic in the past. And, what if the stories haven’t really shown the real you? That’s OK, it’s an opportunity to rebrand by being vulnerable and honest with your audience. You might be wondering what rebranding looks like or if it is painful or not worth it. Well, yes, it can be a little painful if you have built a huge following. That said, ask yourself what is more important to you. Do you want to be the real you or have fake followers? They are fake because they don’t have a clue who they are following. They think you are someone else.
Honestly, tell your story. Tell them everything about how you thought you had to be someone else to be liked. I bet there are plenty of people out there who are doing the same thing and just need a leader to bring them out of that horrible dungeon. Your new brand will shine because it’s YOU!
Fail but Come Back Stronger
Succeeding feels good, and, for the most part, humans want to hear about the rich, successful, and famous. We, unfortunately, also get a temporary high when we see the misfortunes of others. Yeah, it’s bad. Whether it’s personal lives destroyed or businesses failed, we watch because we can. We can thank social media and the media in general for this trend.
However, there is also a desire to see people come back from failure among our culture. Shows like “My 600 lb Life”, “Bar Rescue”, “Extreme Makeover” and “Biggest Loser” prove the public wants to see people change and succeed where they have failed in the past. It is inspirational and helps others know that they, too, can succeed even if they have failed miserably.
Creating your personal brand, whether for personal or business, is about failing forward. Don’t be afraid to share your losses, failures, and weaknesses. I know it sounds counterproductive, but I know people want to relate to others who admit they aren’t perfect. So fail but come back stronger.
Failure is the reality of most people, even those who go on to substantial success. Consider how Steve Jobs is revered for his development of Apple. But, I bet you may not know that Jobs led Apple to near bankruptcy and was kicked off the board before being invited back at a later date to continue his work for the company. What if he hadn’t failed, learned from his mistakes, and come back fighting?