Last week was my week to attend events. Beyond the Southwest Airlines social media program, I hit the KAIROS Web Analytics dinner on voice of the customer and the Kansas City IABC breakfast. At the breakfast, Scott Burditt of Two West shared his perspectives on personal branding. Scott offered five personal branding tips tied closely to his experience in business branding:
1. Serve others first - People care about you relative to your ability to help them, so figure out what you're going to do for them!
2. Promise something bold and unique - Make sure other peoples' experiences of you stand out, just as any successful business brand has to do, with a distinct promise. Scott suggests trying to determine what problem you want to solve as an important part of your personal branding strategy. Then, put your whole promise in 8 words, so you people won't quit paying attention while you try to communicate it!
3. Prove it - You have to demonstrate to people you have the chops to back up your bold, unique promise. Scott recommends identifying 7 stories from your career and life to illustrate and support the personal brand promise you are seeking to own.
4. Innovate (Yourself) - Innovation isn't simply for companies. As individuals, we have to be ready to anticipate and change ourselves in ways that might at first seem very unusual, unconventional, or uncomfortable (or all of these).
5. Connect, Be Visible - Scott urged each person to find the right way to share their personal brand, especially through social media. He was nice enough to give a shout out to the Brainzooming blog for the effort to be consistent with daily posts!
In the Q&A section, Scott advised organizations which want to create brand promises that can stand up for many years to root the promise's payoff in an emotional connection, not in what the organization DOES.
Finally, in a great closing element, Scott challenged each person to take on one action item for their personal brand in the next week. For those who provided contact information, Scott promised to contact them to help hold them accountable for their action item.
That's a personal branding promise which people aren't likely to forget soon! – Mike Brown
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