As a former model, television talk show host, and spokesperson for Paramount (UPN-Philadelphia) one would think that it would be easy to assess his/her value and communicate his/her personal brand. As a model who, by the grace of God, was given the opportunity to strut her stuff in front of live and television audiences as large as 60+ million people for nearly a decade, after I retired I learned quickly that I had an image, but I didn’t have a personal brand.
As I have ventured into other careers since my catwalk days, I quickly learned that people affiliated me with QVC, the home shopping network, and UPN, “the station with all the funny black shows.” They really didn’t know who I was, what I valued, what problem I could help them solve, or what I thought was really important in life.You may be asking: Why should anyone care about what you or I think? It’s simple, because when people care about what you (or I) think and what you (or I) would do in particular situations–that when you have a brand! That’s when your value turns into dollars. Here’s an example.
I have a client who signed a 30-day contract. When the 30-day contract expired, we signed a 6-month contract. During the 6-month contract we signed a project contract. Before the project contract was completed, we signed another contract that will expire in October. My image pulled the 30-day agreement. My brand turned it into nearly a year long contract. My brand qualities–results-oriented, professional, motivational (helps people to create better lives), fit the mission and message of the organization. Along with other responsibilities, I’ve become the spokesperson for their organization–a true honor.
If you want to add value to your personal brand, consider the following:
1. Align you life, image, and message. In order to build a brand, You Have to Be It! All the great pretenders are called on the carpet, overlooked, and tossed to the side. That doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect, but you have to be true to who you claim you are.
2. State Your Final Answer. Define your message and stick with it. You can build on your message, but don’t keep changing your message to get what you want out of people. That method of operating is old and played out. People are too smart for that nonsense.
3. Be Consistent. Feeling safe is the foremost need of every human being. You wouldn’t eat in a restaurant if you didn’t think the food was safe. Giving people a reason to feel safe with you is essential to building a valuable personal brand.
I invite you to ask a question or leave a comment. If the information was helpful to you, share it with a friend.