One. Original. Thought. This is the best personal branding advice you’ll receive the rest of this year.
You can find a thousand articles saying to curate articles and share them on your timeline as a way to show thought leadership. Personal branding is based partially on sharing, building relationships, and partnerships, and bringing value to people, you network with or your audience. I’ve been on Twitter since 2008, but active since 2009, and many users/entrepreneurs are still just sharing.
You chance disagreements. At some point through diligence and personal growth, your brand will come to fruition. Not in how many will follow, but in the quality in follows. In who engages you in deeper conversation, not how many engage you.
The competition between the unemployed, underemployed, and underappreciated is more fierce than ever. It’s time to employ your differentiating super powers. It’s critical in the new job search.
Your brand value
I once worked in an environment where everyone shared everything. People were most proud in sharing what he or she made from home. There was one person who didn’t share from what he or she had but enjoyed what everyone else had brought. One thing bothered everyone: the person invited other people outside of the group to participate in eating but not bringing.
There were those who wanted to contribute, but a few others just wanted to know when they can come back to eat. This annoyed most who brought things from home to share. I think eventually in communities online and offline get at least a bit annoyed when someone doesn’t bring something of their own. It’s also harder to get respect for your brand.
A thought. An original thought.
How will we know you’re unique? Do we know if you’re different? No one wants to follow a clone. Hearing from a clone is more painful.
It’s hard to be seen when you have original content, thoughts, or a video. It takes courage to be seen differently, or to say things no one may not resonate with at first. I know first-hand rejection hurts. And I’ve grown comfortable with discomfort.
Even if it’s slightly different than the next person, you can stand out by delivering it differently. The words can be different. The tone could be different. Changing the way it’s delivered can be seen as refreshing. Your stories are going to be different. That is the game changer and the difference maker. Then your brand will be YOUR brand.
Share. Be honest. Telling the parent the baby is ugly.
One of the best ways to brand yourself is saying the things no one will say. In our political correctness should come tact and thoughtfulness. At the same, as you start to show the world originality, there will be ugliness. The way you deliver the news is the how you may save someone.
And political incorrectness is personal branding at its finest when it costs something or someone. It’s better if it’s truthful, insight, and sprinkled with a little respeck on it.
I became friends with an executive last year after I told him his LinkedIn profile looked like a bad resume. Although my candor startled him, we have talked several times since. But my way of telling him the baby is ugly was tactful resulting in his acceptance by the change in his profile. Good people genuinely interested in you and will welcome your delivery.
Only art institutes are interested in career curators. Employers are interested in work. Just saying.
Personal branding lesson from Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington’s rehearsals with his big bands were intense as he led them. He incessantly yelled, “Personalize your part! Personalize your part!” At first, it didn’t make sense to me in a big band, several different sections, and with many layers of any composition.
Within a horn section, you have several horns playing the same note. Depending on the arrangement, some instruments will be louder than others. As I thought about the importance of standing out as a sign of a strong personal brand, I felt the power of Ellington’s statement. It is about personalizing your part in making it different, unique, and special. All of us “own it” in a different way.
Sure we can do the same thing, share the same message, play the same song, but we would do it in different ways.
Yes, find and share your own.
One. Original. Thought. Personalize your part.