Communicate to Win: 028 – Creating Your Own Brand

Dr. Seuss had many ideas. However, can you imagine his story without the title Green Eggs and Ham? This is how he might describe this idea without this well-known title…

Sam’s friend is a bit difficult. He tells Sam-I-Am that he “would not like them” in “a box” or “a house,” nor with “a fox” or “a mouse,” and that he “would not eat them here or there,” and in fact “would not eat them anywhere.”

What the heck is going on here? This is kind of confusing! Where is the simplicity and keeping it to the point as I mentioned earlier? Can you imagine a world where books did not have titles? You would have to describe every book in detail to someone.

When you give your idea a title, you brand it. Without a title, how are people going to talk about your idea? You want your audience to retain the idea, talk to others about the idea and associate the idea with you. Retention is associated with the act of classifying your idea, initiative, project or story with a noteworthy source. This increases recollection in everyone’s mind and drives water-cooler conversations to be naturally associated with you.

Making a brand for yourself is not just about you. Your branding contributes to the success of those around you, as well as your organization as a whole. Here are my thoughts to help build a personal brand for yourself…

  • Adopt a helping attitude. You want to become known for something extraordinary by those around you. Are you an Excel whiz? Are you great at troubleshooting equipment around the office, like the printer or conference room video cam? When people need help in your specific area of expertise, your name pops into their head. Helping make other people successful is a definitive way to brand yourself AND it benefits everyone. Ever hear of paying it forward? If you make your manager a success, what happens for you? You are likely given the opportunity for promotions and raises and to travel to the next big client presentation.
  • Follow-through on commitments. People who make a commitment and deliver on it are always successful. Period. Be sure to keep your word by using your online calendar and/or its task function to keep track of your to-do list. You can also use an old school, handwritten planner. It doesn’t matter. Keeping a to-do list and working toward crossing tasks off it will most certainly contribute to the notion that you are someone who gets things done.
  • Become a lifelong learner and listen to others. The most educated and successful people I know consistently continue their education. Here are some easy ways to continue learning. There are loads of free webcasts focusing of solid business principles delivered by the American Management Association. The Microsoft website offers endless of training videos and templates for its suite of products. YouTube offers free guidance on just about anything you want to learn, from business- to hobby-related. Take advantage of this powerful tool that we all have at our fingertips to further you education.

As I mentioned earlier, your individual branding and successes are not just about you. When you help other people, the results of you great ideas and sharing what you know can be exponential. Time and time again, my associates or people I have met tell me that something I said years ago was so memorable that it pops in their minds regularly or has changed their thinking!

This wraps up our look at developing your personal narrative. Over the last several posts, I focused on developing your personal narrative, leveraging the power of language by including your own personal brand, vivid equivalents, as well as metaphors and analogies. Up next is my final post in the Communicate to Win series. I’ll summarize all the concepts I’ve covered throughout the series and help you take the next step in your own world.

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