Your Key to Success – Know You and Brand You!
DISCLAIMER – this article is not coming from a certified, make money at it, personal branding expert. I am just like most of you; a professional who is always looking for ways to stand out and differentiate myself in the areas I am indeed expert, certified, and making money at.
That said, just this morning, I read some very interesting statistics pertaining to personal branding.
In an article and study by Glenn Llopis Group; Less than 15% of professionals have a personal brand and only 5% actually execute and live their brand. But that wasn’t the statistic that caught my attention. What is? That 70% of professionals believe they have a defined personal brand, and 50% believe they execute and live their brand daily!
Throughout my own 25 year corporate career, I never gave a second thought to having a personal brand. Didn’t even know about it (though many would say I certainly had oneJ). Even if I had read the 1997 article from Tom Peters in Fast Company, The Brand Called You…. I am not sure I would have understood how it related to me, my ambitions and my overall career.
However, from day 1 of starting my own consultancy practice, along with thousands of other ex-corporate coaches and consultants, it became blaringly obvious I had to find a way to differentiate myself from the mass of competition. It was a little something I also learned when I read Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborqne (a great resource).
But, I didn’t get it or live it from day 1.
On Day 1, I positioned myself as a formal, polished and buttoned up professional; with a formal and polished company brand – The Boas Group.
With my slick corporate quality marketing collateral, website and even business approach, I went into the laid back, relaxed and not so buttoned up entrepreneurial world of consulting and coaching. After more than a year, of just not feeling it, I finally understood what ‘lacking congruency with who you are’ really meant. As much as I loved my corporate upbringing and the successes I had, it was no longer me.
Then it happened.
Being introduced as the keynote speaker by a colleague and friend at a conference, she tossed aside my formal corporate-like BIO and simply said, “All you need to know about Bernadette is, she is a ball of fire!” Every hair stood up straight and every cell in my body tingled. That was it. That was who I was, what I stood for, and even how my friends, colleagues, prospects, and perceived me. At that moment, Ball of Fire became my company name and personal brand by which I message, market and live every day; what I do, how I do it, and what I stand for.
My lesson learned from that experience; knowing and living who you are, creates an empowered mindset, allowing you to optimize the skills and talents you possess today for future success and riches in your business and life.
LEADERtips to discover your personal brand:
- Be willing to answer the tough questions (on paper) which any self awareness / personal branding exercise will ask of you:
- Who are you?
- Who do you want to be?
- Who do you not want to be?
- What do you stand for?
- Identify what makes you stand out, compels and attracts business and personal individuals to you, and causes people to say ‘Wow, I want and need to work with her/him?”
- Yes, this calls for some self-boasting.
- Honor all of the RICHes you possess – skills, talents, qualities, traits, values, vision, passions, experiences, expertise and achievements.
- Remember, if you do not toot your own horn, or know how to pitch yourself to your peers, teams, bosses, clients, and everyone in between, no one else can or will.
If you question whether having a personal brand matters, let me know which one of the following would differentiate me from other business and leadership consultants and coaches, and want to get to know or work with me:
- Bernadette Boas is known as a ‘ball of fire, leveraging her corporate savviness and entrepreneurial spirit to drive change and deliver significant results for small to corporate size companies.
- Bernadette Boas is an experienced and versatile change leader with a passion for people, and for helping determined and committed individuals and businesses, to improve their business, personal and financial goals.
*Reminder, I am not a branding expert:)
All I can tell you is… one of the two has increased my consulting, coaching and speaking opportunities and success, far more than the other.
Set yourself up for success today and seek out your personal brand. Once you do, live that brand each and every day, and never be shy in honoring the professional you are!
Image from www.123rf.com
Bernadette Boas is the ball of fire behind Ball of Fire Consulting, a strategy, business management and leadership development consulting practice, and Ball of Fire Media. (media/publishing). Bernadette is a business growth and leadership consultant, trainer, speaker, radio personality of Shedding the Bitch Radio, and author of her first book Shedding the Corporate Bitch, Shifting Bitches to Riches in Life and Business. Her focus is on igniting leadership and profits in individuals, businesses and their company cultures. Shift to RICHes today with services and programs meant to deliver significant results to your company, team and you! FOLLOW her radio show and subscribe to LEADERtips Weekly!