First off an apology to readers/posters:
A number of people were kind enough to post their elevator pitches last week. Unfortunately, some bug in Fast Company’s software inadvertently removed them from the post. Fortunately, I had copies of the comments and have asked Fast Company to repost them. That has not yet been done and I have requested a second time. I’m sure they will eventually be reposted.
Second a quick reminder:
Today in honor of the 10th year of Personal branding, (a tribute to the Fast Company article by Tom Peters that launched personal branding), is a personal branding summit with 24 free teleseminars on the topic and a terrific line up of speakers, including William Arruda, Kirsten Dixon and Jason Alba.
Meanwhile, talk of anniversaries got me thinking about the importance of change and personal branding. As a serial career changer myself, I’ve had to reestablish my own brand multiple times. In the rabble-rousing ‘70s, I was a professional “do gooder,” also known as social worker. In the Watergate-inflamed ‘80s, I was a journalist. And in the business-oriented late 80s and 90s, I was a marketing executive. And today, I’m a personal branding and public relations expert. Whew! I get dizzy writing this. And in sequentially listing my life this way, it makes me come across as a drifter and zig zagger without focus.
The fact is that our brands are far more than “what” we’ve done and in crafting a personal brand we need to tightly weave “what” we’ve done with “who” we are to create a consistent image. And sometimes that means throwing out some of the “what.” For example, my social work experience is normally not relevant to what I do so it’s not part of my personal brand.
The point is that our personal brands are evolving and we need to be open to opportunities to change the “what” while remaining true to “who we are.
Blogger Jane Genova writes movingly about how she transformed herself from a speech writer to blogger and social media expert when her off-web business dried up.
Or to take a company example, consider how McDonald’s is gradually trying to transform its brand from a symbol of unadulterated fast-food gluttony to a place to also get salads and other more healthy fare.
What are you doing to update your brand? I’d love to hear about your transformational stories.
Wendy Marx, Personal Branding and Public Relations, Marx Communications