Turning personal brand into professional success

It’s 3 PM on a Tuesday afternoon, and you’re home sick from work. Hoping to distract yourself from a sore throat and pounding headache, you pour a glass of water, swallow a couple Aspirin and plop down in front of the television. Although there are hundreds of channels to explore, you quickly flip to your favorite talk show and soon become lost in an alternate world. Before long, you may even start to feel a little better. This is just one example of the power of personal brand. Don’t believe me? Read on.

In today’s highly competitive, over-saturated marketplace, developing a well-defined personal brand is more important than ever before. Whether you have your own business or work for an established company, designing a memorable brand is the most effective way to maintain relevancy, stand out from the crowd and ensure a lasting legacy. But how do you actually begin, and what role should the process play in the context of your work and life? To answer these questions, you must first understand how a personal brand is defined and received.

What is your personal brand?

Put simply, a brand is nothing more than an emotional response — the conceived belief of a product, service or person. In other words, it’s less about behavior and more about how that behavior is perceived — or, as Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos explains, it’s “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” This, of course, doesn’t imply that brand is out of your control. In fact, just the opposite is true.

Great brands, personal or otherwise, share five key ingredients: focus, authenticity, uniqueness, consistency and the ability to be memorable. Combined, these five elements create a distinct code that allows your audience to instantaneously deduce who you are and what you stand for.

Thinking back to your sick day on the couch, with so many shows on television, what made you flip to that specific program at that specific moment? The answer is simple: brand.

Are you ready to get started building your own brand?

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, I’ll be leading a webinar designed to help you build and enhance your personal brand through digital tools and technology. You’ll learn how to leverage a community of online influencers, create and share high value content, and find an engaged audience of ambassadors and advocates. But most importantly, you’ll discover the fundamental principals required to engineer and grow a powerful and profitable personal brand.

At the very core, we “buy” things to feel things — to participate in a shared experience that validates a fundamental belief about who we are and what we believe. As technology ushers in a new era of transparency and the chasm between personal and professional narrows, creating a well-defined brand is the first step in facilitating that process and something we all must consider.

Michael Parrish DuDell is an entrepreneur, international keynote speaker, and the bestselling author of Shark Tank Jump Start Your Business—the official book from ABC’s hit show Shark Tank.