The worldwide economic downturn has everyone worrying about our financial futures. Some of us, including our family members and friends have lost their jobs. And, if we haven’t, we have it in the back of our heads that we might be next. Small business owners are worrying about cash flow. Newspapers and magazines see a dwindling markets. In my world, the meeting’s industry, we are concerned about the future of meetings and travel. Everyone today feels the uncertainty of the times. What can we do to help ourselves?
The trend is your friend!
Everywhere you look today you will find programs, articles, tweets, and sound bytes about a new trend- rebranding ourselves. Last week, Dr. Phil got in on it and did and entire show called Reinvent Yourself. Reinventing or rebranding yourself is not a new concept- Madonna has been doing it for over 20 years- And right now, at this very moment many of us are feeling the need for an upgrade. Honestly, we’re all a little concerned that our expertise has an expiration date. Do we need to upgrade our personal brand?
I use to say, six months ago, that you already have a brand and that your brand comes from what others think and say about you. Your personal brand is the words that others think of when your name is mentioned; it’s what you are known for. Your personal brand is so powerful that is determines your success and your future. Personal Branding is the place that you occupy in your decision maker’s mind relative to your competition. The big question now is, “Are you relevant?” Yesterday’s news and expertise may not work tomorrow.
Rebranding- because today there is no room for complacency!
Here are some thoughts if you are thinking about Rebranding YOU!
1. What’s your NEW vision? How do you see yourself and how to you want to now be perceived? A really good example of this change in perception is Angelina Jolie . Remember back to her days with Billy Bob Thornton? Angelia’s perception was that of a wild and adventurous character living on the edge. Today her perception with Brad and all the kids, is that of a person who is caring and loving to her children and the world at large. She rebranded!
2. What is at your core? Use everything you already have and use it in a new way. Recently in my Jazzercise class we danced to a song by Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin rocker) and Allison Krause(Icon of bluegrass) called I’ll Be Gone… Robert, who knew? In an interview Robert said that they created something that he had never imagined, a ventured into a new territory- Plant and Krause’s harmonizing made it all happen. They both took a risk, they connected to their core talent and together they created a new sound. They rebranded!
3. Your Actions Speak volumes about who you are and your brand. Michael Eisner once said that your brand is a living entity- and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time. Your brand is the product of a thousand small gestures – What are you doing? What action steps are you taking to create a more passionate and relevant you?
4. Want a different brand? Then Change the Conversation. Your conversation escalates the brand. My good friend Bambi McCullough, no relation, told me that the best way to be seen differently at work or in your community is to stop complaining, stop saying what you don’t want to be remembered for and start talking about what it is you believe in. It’s simple. We hear you, we remember your words, and we get your tone. We are making the connection between you and your message- what you talk about says volumes about who you are. If you listen, people will tell you what they value and what they are made of. Want to change your brand? The start by changing your conversation.
5. Refocus on Innovation and Continued Learning. Today you have to read, you must go to blog posts, go to forums, watch youtube, take online webinars, learn what’s relevant by using, search.twitter.com and then, you need to pump out content. Content, ideas, bold concepts, and yes innovation are the brand -makers! Sure you will have to reallocate your time, and turn off the TV. I didn’t say that this was going to be easy.
6. Social Media – The big shift that will Explodes Your Brand. Gary Vaynerchuk , says that If you have a passion blog about it, tweet about it, write a facebook status about it, video it, and just get it out there- it’s all about you and your new brand Exploding! There is a slow shift happening and the shift is all about how we get the messages out! Social media is changing the way we spread the word- your word. Twitter and facebook are the tools that you use to spread your brand.
7. Remember that the internet is the Game Changer. Today you can talk about your expertise and spread your passion for FREE!!!! Never before have we had a message vehicle as powerful as the internet. Today, the gatekeeper, the producers, the editors are no longer in control of getting the messages out. Today, we can deliver our message through new technologies- all it takes is your time! Are you willing to put the time into building your brand?
Rebranding is about YOU getting real with who you are, what you want, and then testing your message to see if it is relevant. Oh, and a new jacket and hair-do might also help!