say 50 years from today. You are probably in the twilight of your time on earth. What do you think will be lingering in your mind? Regrets or fulfillment? Whatever the case, the result will be determined by the personal brand that you built.
A personal brand has to be intentionally created. It is not something that is arbitrary anymore. It is not something that is a reserve for big-time organizations such as Nike and Nokia. Today, you will transact business on the basis of the health of your personal brand, and not your academic papers.
As such, there has to be a particular formula that you can follow in order to craft a compelling personal brand. We are all unique in our own rights and even if we apply the same formula, there is no way that any two people can have the exact same personal brand.
To have a personal brand is increasingly a necessity in the society that we live in today. Even big-time corporations are beginning to learn the importance of purpose in the game of profits. Smack in the middle of a personal brand is a life of purpose.
There is no human being that was born without a personal brand. Everyone with a heart bit has a heart set and has a personal brand too. Whether you know it or not, it is there. It exists. Crafting it has to be a great focus of our lives, for our purpose and our heart set will only be deployed through a personal brand.
In the previous article, we explained the importance of looking at yourself as the starting point of forming a great personal brand. You cannot look anywhere else. You cannot look to the world or anywhere outside of you in order to craft a compelling personal brand. You start with what matters to you and what you are good at.
Remember that personal branding is not about standing out of a crowd, it is about what difference you will be making. That is the cardinal rule in creating a compelling personal brand. In making a difference, you are positioning yourself to be someone’s hero in life.
Indeed, a personal brand is a story about a hero who comes to town and saves people out of their most difficult troubles. They have been waiting all their lives, dealing with the “oppression” of their lives until the hero comes along with the strength to deliver them.
Therefore, that being said, it is important to consider a personal branding formula as follows:
Every hero has an origin and a back story. Your story might easily connect your audience to your personal brand because they identify with your struggles of the past that you have now overcome. A true hero is never someone who is perfect.
A hero is someone with scars, someone who has overcome something and now they are in the pole position to help others. A hero is also someone who got their transformation through something that they went through, and now they have become passionate one way or another about it.
Every hero has a nemesis. A villain. In fact, there is no way that you are building a compelling personal brand without identifying whom or what you are up against. The greater the villain, the brighter your personal brand becomes.
My villain is increasingly becoming the “status quo”. I feel that it is the greatest robber of people’s potential, people’s purpose and people’s productivity. Frankly, you might have more than one villain that your personal brand is addressing, but almost always, it will be one major villain.
A person with a personal brand is someone who has experienced pain enough to rise up and seek to deliver the people that he or she is leading. A calling is akin to purpose. It is communicating that you were born to do exactly this.
Every time there is a villain, there will also be a hero. That hero is one who has answered the call to stand up against the villain. That call is integral in the formulation of a personal brand. It is a noble thing to have a calling.
If you do not have a call that you have answered, there is no personal brand that you are going to build. None. Zilch. Contrary to popular belief, a call is not a religious experience, and therefore, it is not limited to religion. Every human being is called. We have to answer that call and when we do, we are building a personal brand.
A personal brand has some non-negotiables. It has some value and standards that you are subscribing to. People will know this moral code and these values. For Steve Jobs, the moral code was finesse and excellence. It was also simplicity and innovation.
You cannot think of Steve Jobs’ personal brand without having that moral code standing out. All great heroes always will have values that they espouse, and moral codes that they subscribe to. That moral code is derived from drawing a line in the sand and stating what you are about, what you are for and what you are against.
Without having that distinction, the personal brand is not complete. Think of all the great brands out there. Can you think of any that lacks a moral code?
It goes without saying that a personal brand is identified uniquely with how it has been packaged. This is where the unique symbol comes in. For some people, their name alone or their image alone is representative of their personal brand. This is because they have produced so much value that their name of image is synonymous with their brand.
A symbol is important to create a distinction. All great brands have a symbol. Think of Apple, Nike, Coca Cola, The English Premier League, Tesla, IBM, KFC, the flag of any country, etc. That symbol is a graphic that easily condenses all that is representative of a brand into a pictorial representation.
In conclusion, you create a great personal brand when you choose to become a hero.