As I'm writing this, the first of the Chilean miners are being freed from the depths of the earth, over two months after being trapped in a copper and gold mine just outside Copiapó, Chile. I'm talking about this because all of the miners will soon be exposed to a tsunami of media exposure and each of them will have to decide how they want to be viewed by people. Everything they say and do will reveal who they are, at least in the public eye.
The courage displayed by these miners is admirable, and the publicity surrounding their rescue is a publicist's dream. And that's where personal branding comes in.
Every single one of these miners will find that they will become their own personal brand. You see, the miners have now become celebrities whether they like it or not, and some of them will no doubt sell their survival stories. There has already been talk of book deals, movies, radio interviews, international trips, television appearances, and all manner of publicity.
Their personas will become well known, and some will likely capitalize on their fame better than others. I have a sneaking suspicion that Luis Alberto Urzua Iribarren, the shift supervisor whose experience helped save all thirty-three of them, will be offered a fortune for movie rights to his story.
Perhaps like these miners you have personally overcome adversity to become successful in your field. Let people know about it! Personal branding is all about letting the public get to know you, and people love the success stories of those who have overcome adversity.
Though events like those that happened at this Chilean mine are fortunately not so common, significant events occur every day that a savvy business person, or any type of professional, can use in personal branding. Non-profit organizations can pair with churches to promote their causes. Lawyers on high profile cases can use the publicity in personal branding themselves. There are sporting events, charity drives, political campaigns, and other events that can offer publicity that can meld with your personal brand.
All it takes is a little creative thinking and a look at what's happening in the world around you, and perhaps even in your life, that can provide a foundation for building your personal brand.