The 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand : Under30CEO The 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand : Under30CEO
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The 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand

| September 1, 2009 | 20 Comments

Jumpman_logo resizeNo matter what career path you choose your best asset should always be YOU. While most people tend to focus on the things they want out of life and how to quickly climb the ladder to achieve those goals, many don’t take the time to evaluate their skill sets (weaknesses included) and how much of an impact they actually have on the bottom line.

Nobody is exempt. A personal brand is not just some jazzy little title bestowed on entrepreneurs and high-powered executives. If you are a human being, than you too can develop your very own personal brand.

For those of you who don’t know where to begin you can start with the 10 Rules for building a successful personal brand:

1. Be Consistent

While it is okay to grow your brand through several phases it’s not okay to change your legal name 12 times in one year. Think about who you are and who you wish to become. Make sure this is a true reflection of self and not a watered down carbon copy of someone else. Consistency will lead to recognition and ultimately this is what we’re all after.

2. Live and Breathe Your Craft

Don’t talk about it. BE about it. If you make the conscious decision to go ‘all in’ for something whether it be entrepreneurship, modeling, singing, acting, etc….actually go ‘all in’. In order for your brand to thrive, you need to practice what you preach and soak up new knowledge about your field, new technology and best practices. I know sometimes the road gets rough and your passion may get tested but realize that this is what you came to do. The only thing left is to start now and never look back.

3. Sweat Equity is the Best Equity

Get on that good ole’ American grind: late nights and early mornings. If you believe in what you’re selling/saying to the world then prove it. If you aren’t investing any time into your own brand than why should someone spend any money on it?

4. Be Professional

You would think this would be self-explanatory but it’s not. No matter what you do, where you go, or who you talk to, always keep in mind that impressions are everything. I live by the quote, “You can’t control how you are perceived but you have 100% control over how you are presented.” Believe that, because you never know who is watching.

5. Be Resilient

How many times have you heard the word NO in the past week? Month? Year? If you are a Gen Y entrepreneur probably a lot. DON’T GIVE UP. No matter what! Yes, it’s okay to take a minute and pick your chin up off the ground but dust yourself off but get right back at it. Maybe you need to go back to the lab and hone your skills or maybe every thing is in place but your timing was off.

Keep grinding and never let someone else determine your future. Do not let your personal brand be dictated by a third party.

6. Be Transparent

Nobody expects you to be superman or superwoman. Be real, be honest and most of all be human. Everybody makes mistakes. Every once in a while let someone in on your thought process so that they can feel like they’re a part of your world. Don’t try to cover up when you mess up…talking about it can actually give you more insight into what went wrong in the first place and how it could have been prevented. Brands depend on the transparency of upper management for credibility, so there’s no reason personal brands should be any different.

When people feel like they know and can trust who you are…they will invest in your brand every time.

7. Do Not Succumb to BBD (Bank Balance Depression)

Many people tend to equate success with $$$. Unfortunately, this can not only lead to serious health issues but, a defeated soul when you realize that in the beginning your bank account will be one more debit away from a flat line pulse. You have to love what you’re doing enough to know that the money will come.

8. Be Strategic, Daring and Open to Suggestions

Think about your brand and who you want to be. What do you want people to think about you? Strategically map out the things that you can do to achieve these goals. It’s imperative for EVERYONE to make a 5 year plan…I’ll settle for  months to 1 year but plan something.

Planning is essential. When making your 5 year plan make categories (i.e. personal brand, financial, personal health, family, social situation, etc) trust me it helps.

To be daring means having a plan but also leaving some room for new possibilities. Take risks in business and in life and be open to suggestions from everyone. You never know what you can learn from a child and you never know what wisdom you can get from an older person.

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak,” – Epictetus

9. Take Breaks

For the actual human inside of our robotic workaholic bodies, take a damn break. Take care of yourself and disconnect from the world for a few hours each week. Set boundaries for business talk. Don’t check emails after a certain time, have your calls forwarded to voicemail, etc.

While you build your personal brand you should also build in a little time for personal space.

10. Develop Small OCDesque Habits

Obsessive = repetitive thoughts

Compulsive = more of the physical “do overs” (ex: touching a door knob a certain amount of times)

You have to be obsessed with your personal brand.  You should obsess about organization, presentation, details, etc. All of these categories are important in business and in branding. Examine your flaws and embrace them; turn them into assets. Be meticulous in your every day life and at the very least make sure there are no typos in your EMAILS!!!

Magic Johnson once said…”How you do something…is how you do everything.”  So essentially, when you become known for doing things a certain way—give yourself a pat on the back because you have created an identifiable brand that is personally yours.

Written by Sakita Holley, President, House of Success Public Relations + Brand Management.  Twitter: @MissSuccess

Rockstar Lifestyle Design and Under30CEO have teamed up to bring you a 1 time only series on personal branding. We are combining our knowledge in social media, blogging and internet marketing to help you get your brand off on the right foot and build a successful business. Learn how to take advantage of this opportunity on the event page.

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Category: Personal Branding, Startup Advice

  • http://www.msestheticianwaxing.com/ Tiffany

    what an awesome post.

  • http://travelexperta.com/ marinakvillatoro

    Great post. What is sooooooooo f***ing amazing to me, is how UNPROFESSIONAL some people are. It's insane. I'm in the travel business. and you would think when I call and say 'Ok, I've got such and such clients ready to book, let's go.” they take their sweet time to reply or don't want to budge on $30 when I can bring them $1000's of business. and just weird stuff like that.

    And the break thing, its an issue for me:) I feel if I take time off, I'm falling behind the competition! Besides, like Madonna always says, what do I need a vacation for, I love what I do!

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Great stuff I love the #7 BBD. Its not about your balance. It wont be much in the early stages but its all about what your building. Measure success with the people you meet and the people that know you. Once you have a brand that has respect and eyeballs you will be able to increase that bank account.

  • tejas_bhatt

    This is cool specially #7

  • sakitah

    Thanks for the great feedback guys. Let me know how you've been building your personal brands.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    The MJ Jumpman logo may be the #1 personal brand logo in the world. Any challengers?

  • Michele

    This article is great. You already know I expect nothing less of you, the presence of YOUR personal brand is all over this. :)

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  • http://twitter.com/crearvirtual J González Alonso

    Great Post. I love #2: Live and Breathe Your Craft

  • http://www.twitter.com/johnexley JohnExley

    Solid tips Sakita, definitely hear you with tip #5! Especially your quote: “Keep grinding and never let someone else determine your future. Do not let your personal brand be dictated by a third party.” My dad one time gave me this advice: 'don't be driven by others; be the driver in your life.'

    As for tip #1, if you could only choose one of the following, which would you prefer: to be likable or to be consistent?

  • http://www.rumfordaquatics.com rumfordaquatics

    Live Strong

    I think that will pass it soon if it hasn't already.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matthewdibble Matthew Dibble

    I'm loving this site more and more as I dig into it.
    Number 6 really hits home for me… It's difficult to open up to the world and say “I screwed up,” but it's something I need to look at more and determine where my hesitancies are surrounding that.

    I think you're dead on, people are more apt to embrace you when they can see some weaknesses. I'm going to try it today.

  • Sakita

    Hmmm That's a great question…

    I think for me the answer is to be consistent. I say this because no matter how hard you try to please there will always be someone who doesn't like or appreciate what you do. However, if you strive for greatness and are known for being consistent…people will RESPECT you.

  • Sakita

    That's a great attitude to have. Come back and let us know how it works out for you!

  • Jermaine

    Some people would consider your use of “sooooooooo f***ing” very unprofessional.

  • maryrettig

    Great tips just what I needed. Funny thing what I need always comes along. It takes time and Patience's to build you brand but keep at it.

  • maryrettig

    Great tips just what I needed. Funny thing what I need always comes along. It takes time and Patience's to build you brand but keep at it.

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