Biz Tips: What nobody on the internet will tell you about personal branding

Biz Tips: What nobody on the internet will tell you about personal branding


What nobody on the internet will tell you about personal branding

The sad reality

The basics

I’m the process of building my own personal brand, and it’s going to be called “bobby”.That’s my pet name.

Now I had one singular thought that helped me pick out the name: it wasn’t very unique or hard to remember, and it feels extremely friendly. Your brand is all about the talk in the room when you’re not there.

I’ll admit, all this stuff is very generic and doesn’t give you a clear picture. But let me take you down memory lane. These days, social media and technology helps you find everyone: from plumbers to restaurants. That wasn’t the case in the pre-internet era and the only way people remembered you were by referrals, and by your signature name.

I’ll bet most of our parents had a name for every specific problem that came up.

“Having water leakage? Dial up Mr. Roger; he does the best plumbing in the area and he’ll surely come down here the soonest he can.”

This was the means of trade back then, and is gradually making a comeback now after a ton of companies screwed up with customer interaction and played with the trust of their customers.

Your next biggest competitor today is an unhappy customer.

The big internet secret to you and your business becoming a household name: find the science, art and meat here.

Change is inevitable but progress is a choice.

I’d like to start off this section with that very specific thought. Let me present a case study here and demonstrate the concept better. Consider a common pop culture example, Apple.

Apple started off in the personal computing space and continued to build that bridge as it grew. Today, in my unbiased opinion, has created a “walled garden” or the “ecosystem” that people simply don’t want to come out of. Apple has got a ton of products, and with every sale it leaves you feeling incomplete and urges you to make another purchase with them, and then another.

The vicious cycle never ends.

But despite everything, Apple is still driving huge sales and people are willing to shell out thousands of dollars in the blink of an eye. In every statement that Apple employees make in their presentation, they start with “Why”, (as in why they’re doing this XYZ thing), “How”, (as in how they’ve executed or accomplished it) and “What” (as in the goal and purpose; the ultimate target).

This makes people glued right from the start. Think about it, you’re in an interview. The way you pitch yourself starts why you’re here, how you plan on accomplishing XYZ to try and solve the “what” (problem) of the company, for which they are trying to hire you to help them solve.

Other people/companies do exactly the opposite: they go from “What” through “How” and finally to “Why”. This makes people feel like they’re not considered in the equation at all, and they come at the end- which clearly means they’re being toyed with and used. Apple centres everything around people right from the first sentence.

Gary and Tom are two people I follow very closely, and both of them say that personal conviction is the key to branding success

Loosely translated, it simply is:

Don’t pay me.”

Confused? I’m not fu*king with you.

Personal conviction means, “I have a point of view and I don’t care if I’m wrong, as long as I have my own point of view”. It symbolizes honesty and being upfront. It tells people you’re the “go-to guy”, the “Mr. Fix-it” for their problems.

Check out this story if you are a job seeker, freelancer or anyone aiming to be your ideal audience’s “Mr. Fix-it”.

To better satisfy the law of demand and supply, it shows “I’m here to help you” as opposed to “Trust me, I’ve done this before.” The correlation to the law here is that each product is market specific, and has some differentiation or the other. Brands don’t come out and say, “Trust us, it’s worked in Ghana and it will work in your country too”. That’s simply obnoxious.

Bottom line: be more empathetic.

In the bible of great businesses, God says, “He who is empathetic is thy right partner, for he is a patient listener to your woes. He who claims to be the expert of your problems only charms and poaches you like an impotent d*ck.”

There. Now shut up and accept this fact as the Holy Grail.

Most businesses don’t listen and ask enough and hence, they do not seem trustworthy. Heck, an office full of cheap, sleazy sales people can’t sometimes convince one customer. This fact wasn’t as scary as in the 50’s as it is now. Why? Every single unhappy person in your domain is your competitor.

He will either kill you on social media, or he’ll solve the problem that you can’t and beat you at it.

In the 21st century, your customer is your biggest competitor. Therefore, the quality of questions you ask expresses your value. Don’t pitch, don’t sell. Simply listen and get to know them better: that’s the power of personal branding, the power of you!

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