The always, everytime personal brand

22May09

FIFTH IN A SIX PART SERIES

The model we are using for this personal brand series is:

  1. Define
  2. Distinguish
  3. Declare
  4. Deliver

This post is about Declare.  Once you have defined what you stand for and how you will be distinguished from your  competitors at work or in your field of commerce – you need to be sure your target audience gets you.  It’s time to influence the people who influence your cash flow.

Declare is comprised of what you say (words, messages), how you say it (tone, “feel”), and how you look (demeanor, style).  All three of these components have to be in sync and supporting each other. 

Let’s use Martha Stewart again as our personal brand example.  Her  message is “the art of everyday living”.  Her words are all about how to elevate and transform ordinary domestic endeavors into the extraordinary.  Her tone is authoritative. Not warm, but it is assuring.   She hovers near “lecture” but never goes there.  Her feel is classic, comfortable luxury.  Her own demeanor and personal style do not intrude.  She dresses neutrally so she does not distract the audience away from her message by drawing attention to her own look, but keeps the attention on the look of her product. 

It is not important whether we like Martha or not, it is important that her target audience love her.  She is a brand that inspires confidence and trust in her target audience.  Martha always stays within her brand boundaries.  And consistency is crucial to a powerful personal brand.  

We experience each other today in micro-bursts.  People have little time to get to know you.  You help them “get you” when you are consistent in every interaction.  Martha does not wear 5 inch stilettos nor  the latest couture nor change her hairstyle routinely.  She is not giddy or even humorous.  Does Katie Couric come to mind?  Katie is brand challenged because she wants her brand to be “serious” but she goes too far into  “cute”  and consequently, her brand is compromised.  Madonna is consistent in her inconsistency – her hallmark is transformation.  Her audience expects to see a new Madonna regulary and she delivers on that brand promise. 

As a personal brand your influence is multi-media.  You declare your brand and your value to your audience in person, over the phone, via your emails, posts, ims, tweets, social media website, other websites – you see where this is headed.  Make sure there is a single, powerful thread pulling it all together.

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