As I tell my clients over and over, your personal branding campaign should be primarily centered on the goal of branding yourself as a celebrity within your market. The key phrase here is "within your market." You don't need to become the next Hollywood superstar, you just need to become the go-to guy in your field, within your market. And as you know if you've been paying attention, that involves branding yourself both as an expert and as an interesting individual. Why interesting? Because it's not good enough simply to be considered good at what you do; you also need to be memorable. You need to stick in the minds of potential clients, so that when they need your services, you are the first person they think of. For some clients I've spoken to, this seems to present a problem. "There's simply nothing memorable about me," they say. If you identify with that notion, pay attention, because today I'm going to show you that anyone can brand themselves as an expert and a celebrity if they are willing to commit 100% to that goal.
A common misperception about celebrities, whether in the entertainment industry, in business, or in sports, is that they are generally superior to the rest of the population. Many people perceive celebrities as not only talented, but also smart, good looking, ambitious, funny, and so on. The truth, in most cases, is that celebrities are just like the rest of the population, with some minor differences that make all the difference. The average NFL player is extremely good at football, but that's probably the only thing separating him from the rest of the population. Warren Buffet is extremely gifted when it comes to finance. Justin Bieber is a great musician. Do you see what I am getting at here? Becoming a celebrity doesn't mean transforming into a totally different person. It means getting extremely good at one thing. That sounds much less intimidating, right?
Of course, getting good at something doesn't help you if nobody knows about it. And that is where celebrity branding comes into play. Let's walk through the process together. Who are you, and what are you good at? What gifts, skills, or knowledge sets you apart from the competition? The answers to those questions point us to the essence of your personal brand. Whether you're a forensic accountant or a beauty consultant, your brand should position you as an expert in your field, and it should reflect the specialized skills or knowledge that your competition doesn't have, or doesn't communicate.
The next ingredient to an effective personal brand is memorability. What will make you stick in the minds of potential customers? To answer this question, step away from your business qualifications for a second and think about your personality. What makes you unique? Your hobbies? Your sense of humor? Your passion for music, movies, or sports? Identify two or three personality traits that make you unique, and you've identified the "personal" part of your personal brand.
Branding yourself as a celebrity sounds intimidating. But as we've seen, it is something that most business owners can accomplish if they are serious about it. Do you have an area of business expertise? Do you have hobbies, passions, or interesting personality traits? That's all it takes. With commitment, hard work, and the right guidance, you can become a celebrity within your market.
[Image: Flickr user nicogenin]
JW Dicks (@jwdicks) & Nick Nanton (@nicknanton) are best-selling authors that consult for small- and medium-sized businesses on how to build their business through Personality Driven Marketing, Personal Brand Positioning, Guaranteed Media, and Mining Hidden Business Assets. They offer free articles, white papers, and case studies at their Web site. Jack and Nick have been featured inThe New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, FastCompany.com, and many more media outlets.