The Unbranded Life
- You live spontaneously according to the needs and feelings of the moment.
- As a result, you show a different face at different times.
When you Brand something,
- You choose to leave a deliberate, consistent impression
so there's no confusion about who you are.
- You hide the multi-dimensional you
- You present a one-dimensional you
- So people get a very clear impression about what they can expect from you.
Is that authentic?
- You are showing a real part of yourself. But only part.
- By removing anything else from view, you help people
forget that there is more to you.
- The result is a version of you that is highly edited
- The clarity this brings is useful as long as a relationship is based on this alone
- when the hidden factors are significant, branding is deceptive
Who IsDebbie Dib,
- a certified personal branding strategist
- your resume has to be easy to read on a Blackberry
- that means two pages tops
- your other info can be shoved onto "collateral documents"
- eg. a case study of your top accomplishment, lists of speaking
engagements, achievements, deals
- a personal brand is a well-defined image of you
- a clear, memorable image cannot be diversified
- you have to pick one or two strengths and market yourself on these
- your other skills are reduced to secondary status as value-adds
- hiring managers are more interested in an expert
than a jack-of-all trades and master of none
- so she advises us to be brave enough to limit our offerings
A large company will usually have strict rules about the presentation of its image. For instance, it will only use specific colours, photos and fonts . The reason? Once these signals become familiar to the viewer, it becomes easy to relate to the firm as a known quantity.
The same restrictions and clear definition are required for any appearance of the company's voice. But this is where firms often err.
When they are trying to reel you in as a customer or an employee, they are very personable and friendly. But once you are sold, they become very task-oriented. You're no longer a pal. The only thing that matters is business.
People don't like that sudden about-face from caring about them to caring exclusively about yourself. It makes you seem untrustworthy and dishonest.
So, if you have a friendly voice in your marketing vehicles, including your recruiting communications (your blog, for instance), you should maintain it in all of your ongoing communications as a basic element of your culture.
Note that the same rule holds true for individuals. Most of us don't feel comfortable around people who are really nice -- until they get angry. Then all concern about other people is thrown out the window.
The person who throws the tantrum might excuse it as his way of getting rid of an upset as quickly as possible. But those who are on the receiving end become wary of him.
You want people to follow up with questions about
- what services you provide
- why you think you have been successful
- how you are better than your competitors
Who would you rather hire? A person who tells you they work for an insurance broker, or someone who tells you they are an insurance broker who loves their job and loves to help their clients solve their financial challenges, find and retain the best possible employees, and keep their clients lives as simple as possible?
My reply: I hate those phony boasters and I know that you do too.