Personal Branding and La La Land: Why You Need to Take Control of Your Career & Build Your Brand.
“No one can do what you do, exactly the way you do it.” ~ Alexandra Franzen
Did you know a company no longer invests as much in its workers?
In today’s global work world, the idea that you have to take the reins of your career development is more important than ever.
You have to think like a free agent no matter who employs you. Because you never know where your next big career opportunity is going to come from.
What’s the best way to take charge of your career development? Through personal branding.
Personal branding is a concept Tom Peters first articulated in 1997.
“All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” ~ Tom Peters
Taking charge of your personal brand puts you in the driver’s seat of your career journey. There are always so many variables out of your control. But by taking charge of your personal brand, you increase the scope of things you do control in your career.
You don’t have to out talk, out shine, or out create everyone else. You just have to out brand them.
Personal branding means getting known for your work both inside your company and out. But this isn’t just window dressing or “power suiting”. It’s adding your personal quirks and obsessions into your professional skills. It’s showing the world your unique combination of personality and skill set. And it’s doing it in a way that enhances you professionally.
You showcase your personal brand by building your platform. Where you speak out at meetings and conferences, build strategic relationships, and use social media to your advantage.
Everyone is overly busy and distracted, so you need a compelling platform. One where you can communicate the value you add. Who knows, you might even start a movement.
Personal branding is both a point of view (what you stand for and how you add value) and a strategy of sharing that message. Let’s define personal branding like this:
Personal branding is developing a strategic plan that allows you to thoughtfully and intentionally share your unique way of adding value to the world through your skills, attitude, and personality. You communicate your point of view from a platform you build through speaking out and building relationships in person and on social media.
Personal branding is not just for the 1%…it’s a way of leveling the playing field for anyone willing to put in the time and invest in their own personal brand.
Let’s compare personal branding with the awards-bonanza, financial success, La La Land.
This film resonated with people. But not because the story is original or the scenery is exotic. It resonated with people because it’s a story of love, relationships, and career aspirations that we can all relate to.
And it won a Mega-Millions mess of awards and profits (six Oscars, seven Golden Globes, and others) because of the flair with which it told us its story.
That’s the point I want you to get—You can be a garden-variety software engineer (at the most superficial level) and build a brand that reflects your unique personality & skill set.
But make no mistake, no matter how amazing the film (or book, or software engineer) MARKETING MATTERS.
It took the same amount of money to make the film ($30 million) as it did to market the movie. Marketing the movie was just as important as making the film. The same goes for your work. It’s the eventual mastery of your craft (making you) and sharing your craft with your fan base (marketing you).
As of May 2017, La La Land grossed over $417 million. Not bad for Damien Chazelle’s senior thesis in college. (Note, however, that if you view Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, which was the original college thesis, La La Land is MUCH better. Gotta start somewhere!)
La La Land is an ordinary story told in such a way that the details capture both the hearts and imaginations of the audience. (To read 5 Things La La Land got right, click here.)
Likewise, you (an ordinary person with extraordinary experiences and quirks) make a compelling professional.
Another way to look at it is from the Google perspective. During any given presentation at work, we get annoyed when people spend time telling us things we could easily Google (or read on the slides). But get someone’s Point of View on a topic (an informed opinion that showcases their personality)—now that’s interesting.
Your personal brand is essentially a multimedia presentation of your point of view. Make it interesting by incorporating what makes you an interesting person.
How do you do this? Create a compelling personal branding statement or bio with me during the #brandyou challenge starting October 16. Click here for more info.