What’s in a brand? Personal branding is hailed as one of the most effective strategies to get ahead in the build world and corporate race. By learning how to package oneself in a way that highlights your most positive traits and strengths, you widen your opportunities toward personal, corporate and financial growth. You also multiply your chances of attaining personal success and happiness. Read More. (And, if it speaks to you “Like” and share it with your friends)
Over the years, regardless of race, age or gender, I have found that the size and shape of our bodies and body parts are of great concern to many of us. Instead of accepting and understanding that we are divinely made and the size of our bodies and body parts serve a specific and meaningful purpose, it is obvious that the images we consume on a daily basis impact our self-perception. I believe that these images distort our understanding of our divinity and sometimes take us off course.
I do, however, understand why we obsess over ourselves and our outer appearance. Statistically speaking there is a direct correlation in our looks and how much money we make. According to Sociologists Drs. Samantha Kwan and Mary Nell Trautner, “physical attractiveness is associated with a number of positive outcomes, including employment benefits such as hiring, wages, and promotion, and is correlated with social and personal rewards such as work satisfaction, positive perceptions of others, and higher self-esteem.”
On January 17, 2008, Faking Good Breeding posted a blog entitled, Beauty and Success. The author shared the following: Science Daily published an article that included a recent study showing that attractive people often receive better job positions and pay than average looking applicants. The study found that women were more likely to give high status packages to attractive men than men gave to attractive women. Isn’t that a trip?
I, like many of you, seek to achieve and maintain my personal best. In doing so, I’ve hired a personal trainer, regulate what I eat–but, like President Obama with cigarette smoking, at times, I slip off the wagon–and before going out play I put on sunscreen. I have to confess that, from my days of modeling, I still secretly shadow my nose (There Is More Inside Page 32) . As I explain in There Is More Inside, one of my clients told me I had a “big” nose and I needed to make it appear thinner. Ten years later, I continue to shadow my nose so that it will appear slimmer. Some may categorize my behavior as ingrained self-hate. Adding that if I were in a different country the standard would be different and thereby my behaviors would be different. I wouldn’t argue that point. However, I’m not in a different country. I’m in America. I believe how I present myself builds on the image that I’ve created. That image substantiates my brand.
I can’t see myself having any creditability as an image consultant or motivational speaker if my body and appearance doesn’t reflect what I’m selling. Perhaps you’re thinking that my message is, There Is More Inside. That is true. I believe, however, that what’s inside is showcased through how I treat myself and my body.
I had a client who is a “motivational speaker.” When I saw him speak for the first time I was taken aback by his appearance. His pants were too long, his tie was too short, and he was approximately 100 pounds overweight. His image didn’t match his message and, therefore, directly impacted his brand. As a coach, I had to ask him some tough questions: Who is your targeted audience? Would the people in your audience look to you for answers? If so, why? What do you have that they want? Does your physical appearance match your message of hope, perseverance, and achievement? Is your message believable?
Branding doesn’t discriminate. It isn’t about being a particular size or shape. It does, however, require you to authentically show up. Does your body match your brand? If you are unsure, here are five questions to ask yourself to determine if you need to shape up.
- What is my brand?
- What problem do I solve?
- Do I look like the solution that I offer?
- Would I buy from me?
- What should I change to make my brand more believable?
I invite you to leave your comments or questions, and don’t forget to tell a friend.
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.