Discovering your personal brand

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How to discover your personal brand: Essential personal branding tips from Marilyn, Rihanna and Jay-Z

What personal branding tips can we learn from celebrities like Rihanna and Marilyn Monroe?

I remember watching Oprah Winfrey interviewing Rihanna who sometimes gets labelled as the sexiest person on earth. In the interview, Oprah commented: “You look so comfortable in the role of being the sexiest woman alive” to which she replied “it is all part of my acting, but now I am being real”. I believe that she must have been practicing this act for such a long time that it became the norm. This interview also stuck in my mind because Rihanna came across as a very interesting individual who knew her stuff and as if she knew how to play the game.

Just like Marilyn Monroe. I read somewhere that once Marilyn Monroe was walking down a busy store with a friend and no one recognised her. She then showed her friend how she could suddenly be Marilyn Monroe and she switched herself on. She was immediately surrounded by fans. It made me think in terms of: Yes, we can be good at what do but how can we come across as memorable. Why is it that those we label “as famous” always catch our attention? I believe it has to do with the power of Presence. Presence is felt through the body, our voice, mind heart and spirit; which altogether are the ingredients that will help you to reach personal branding success.

How can you brand yourself for success with personal branding?

Most celebrities are perceived as superior to us: smart, ambitious, full of charisma etc. One way of looking at it is that they are experts in their field but they are human just like the rest of us. How about use of power? Abraham Lincoln once said “If you want to test a man’s character, give him power”. Misuse of power can be tempting. When we abuse our power we cease to empathise with others, tolerate their ideas or even accept their rights and at worst their humanity. The good use of power should be a daily practice for those who have it. As Albert Camus once said “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
Can you see yourself as a business, as Jay-Z clearly puts it: “I am a Business-Man”. As a well-known and successful musical artist, Jay-Z is a prime example of someone who knows how to harness the power of personal branding to achieve success. Know your genius – Genius is about knowing what you are good at and operating at that level so you others are captivated by your performance.

Finding your own “brand personality”

You are a brand – just like a product. However, if you had a product to market you will need to know the product inside out, have faith in the product, and most of all know your market. The same goes for branding yourself. It is about knowing yourself inside out – knowing your strengths and weaknesses and knowing your passion. What are your key personality traits? How do others see you and relate to you? It is easy to forget that people do business with people they like. Are you kind and trustworthy? When people can sense you are the real deal, they will open up to you. When they can see you have their best interests in mind, they will trust you.

Have long and short terms goals. Once you know your market, in terms of competition, get to know the marketing mix and see how you can apply it to your goals. For example, what is your Unique Selling Proposition? Be expert in your field. What is it about your brand personality that makes you noticeable and stand out from the crowd are the key ingredients to your success.

Always have a 10 sec elevator pitch ready for use; apparently this is how Jose Mourinho got the job of Chelsea Manager. An elevator pitch is about describing to someone your area of expertise, your strengths; it’s about making an impact in 10 seconds, because you don’t know who you might bump into one day. Be prepared: You may find yourself needing to sell your brand personality to others out of the blue!

A little exercise I get my clients to do is to think of someone they really admire, it could be a role model for example, and borrow from them. I am not saying you should change your persona completely because we are all unique! Once you have identified your role model, make a list of the personality traits of that person that captivates you. Once you have listed approximately 10 items, then delete the name of that person and substitute it with your own name. Review that list on a daily basis so it gets lodged into your subconscious! The mental pictures we have in your mind become imprinted by trust and always get manifested by the subconscious mind.

Finally Robin Sharma, business coach observed personal habits in star performers and extraordinary leaders he has coached over the years. This is what he had to say about their successful personal branding, “They drive the highest quality cars, live in the best homes and wear the finest clothes. Their philosophy generally seems to be “I stand for being the best so it only makes sense that I should invest in the best” Now here’s the big idea: They held that belief even when they were not successful.

Greatness is above all else, a state of mind. You need to believe in your potential and power before you can bring them to life. Share with us what your own personal branding is or what are your own personal branding tips for success? As always, we would love to hear from you in our comments below!