Whether you’re in the market to sell yourself or your business you will have to build your brand. Your brand is what makes you unique—it’s what makes you.
When I mention “hoodie” who do you think of? Could it be Mark Zuckerberg? He took hoodie to another level.
My mom used to say, “Your reputation is all you have.” In those days it means a “good” reputation. These days I’m not sure if it has to be good. You just need a reputation!
Building your brand isn’t easy. There’s lots of competition and everyday there’s a new unknown who’s become famous. Last week, Alex was a 16 year old cashier at Target, overnight he became a celebrity with 300,000 followers on Twitter. Someone snapped a photo of him, and it went viral. He says he still doesn’t ’ know what has happened but there’s the buzz that it was a PR stunt from Target. It doesn’t matter, 30 days ago he was an unknown, know he is being represented by Shahidi, who is guiding him on next steps. We now have a brand called “Alex.” Alex was wearing a red Target shirt; I don’t think it was the shirt that made him famous. It was probably his innocent good looks. Here’re some ideas for building your own brand.
No matter what you do, you need your own personal brand to be remembered. If you’re in the sales business, you need customers to remember who you are. I remember I had a salesperson that was known as “the really tall, good looking salesperson.” He was 6 feet tall and definitely good looking. It got him lots of repeat business.
Here are some ideas for building your brand.
Be bold. Take a shot, don’t be afraid to be you and stand out. Your boldness may be your clothes, your hobby or your blog. It might be your haircut. Blogs have made many people famous.
Look good. Just because you’re running to the post office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up. My mom used to say, “Put on your lipstick, you never know who you’re going to meet.” This was the upgrade from my grandmother who said, “Don’t forget to wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”
Practice “random acts of kindness.” We always remember people who are nice to others. It never hurts to be kind.
Get known for working hard and doing an excellent job. This will also make you feel good about yourself.
Be fun, don’t take everything so seriously. I was lucky enough to work with Madeline Kahn in the 50’s. We were both college students working in a hotel in the Catskills; she was a singer and I was a waitress. In the afternoons, she used to dress up as Greta Garbo; a famous vamp from the 20’s and lounged around the pool.
One day, the owner came out and yelled at her, “His line, Madeline; you have to get serious if you’re going to be a star!”
If you’ve ever seen “Blazing Saddles” you know she was silly and became a star.
Listen to others. A good listen that isn’t critical is always remembered. You don’t have to be a social worker; you just need a kind ear.
See yourself as entrepreneurial. Being entrepreneurial with interesting ideas will always help your brand.
As Dr. Seuss said, “Be who you are and way what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
Lisbeth Calandrino has been a business consultant for over 20 years. To speak with her about your business or have her train your employees, reach her at [email protected] She lives in Historic Hudson Park with her cat, Rainyday.