Monthly Archives: August 2012

Personal Branding: The Shakespearean Way-Act I

Our first Guest Blogger Schuyler Kaye, of T4Execs kicks start my Guest Blogging Season! I am absolutely delighted to have Schuyler share his Brandtastic Insights on Personal Branding: The Shakespearean Way with you; I truly believe that my first Guest Post couldn’t get anymore Enlightening & Enriching, and-if you LOVE Literature like me-Entertaining than this!

About Schuyler: Schuyler Kaye is a Personal Brand Consultant, Blogger, and Storyteller. Believes that if you want to be remembered – tell your STORY. “Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. Tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” –Native American Proverb.Connect with him @T4Execs

“What Shakespeare might write for a play on personal branding: Act I.”

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.”

I once worked with a vice president of a large corporation. He used to say that only 12% of the activities you do affect your personal brand. You have 6% that will significantly help your career, and 6% that if you don’t do it will negatively impact your opportunities. The rest is status quo. This might seem like madness, but the concept that a minority of your tasks is responsible for the majority of your success is a pattern that is constantly present in the world. Books like the 80/20 principle do a great job of diving into this idea incase you’re interested in learning how to apply it to other areas of your life. For the benefit of personal branding, the method is really to know what those 12% activities are so that you can focus the majority of your time on them.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

How do you stop wasting time on status quo and start focusing your efforts where it really matters? Understand your personal brand in its current state, and then what you want it to be. Knowing your direction will help keep the daily winds of distraction from guiding you like underlings.

This post will answer these three questions:

  • What is a personal brand?
  • Should you have a personal brand?
  • How do you effectively create your personal brand?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

What is a personal brand?

I have seen a great number of opinions about this subject. For example, this LinkedIn discussion asking, “how do you define personal brand in one sentence?” has over 200 comments. Many of these include answers like:

  • What you write
  • What you post
  • Comments you send
  • Pictures you’re in
  • Videos you make
  • Just about anything people can find attached to your name

I agree these are all aspects that make up an online brand, although none of them ARE your personal brand. Your personal brand is your reputation or how people perceive your work, NOT the name you call it. Tweet this! This is an important differentiation because it shows you that your audience plays as important of a role in your personal brand as you do. Thereforeyou must never forget who your audience is. I’ll talk more on this subject in Personal Brands, A Shakespearean View Act II. For now lets start with whether or not you should have a personal brand.

Nothing can come of nothing: speak again.”

Should you have a personal brand?

One could argue that most people already have a personal brand. What I’d ask yourself is what your online presence is already saying about you? Take a few minutes and search your name on Google. Look at what you post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other form of social media. Try to imagine you are someone else and establish a first impression. Think of it through the perspective of an employer. Would you hire you? Are you happy with what you find? If you don’t show up on a Google search, and do not participate in social media, understand that your non-presence does in fact affect your opportunities. Imagine again that you’re a hiring manager and you’re looking at two resumes. Both candidates, we’ll call them Romeo and Hamlet, are equally qualified as far as you can see, so you do an online search. Romeo comes back with zero responses. Hamlet has a LinkedIn profile that supports his resume and a number of recommendations vouching for his work.  Who are you going to hire?

If you’re 100% happy with where you are, what you’re doing, and what your brand is currently saying about you, then it’s hard to argue that you should change what you’re doing. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If that doesn’t describe you, then it’s safe to say doing nothing will result in nothing. If you’re open to new opportunities, then the answer has to be YES.

“Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have
Immortal longings in me.”

How do you create your personal brand?

Place your crown on your head and show the world what you have to offer. Without further ado, here are the 3 steps to defining your personal brand.

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”

Step One: Explore where you’ve been and where you want to go.

Everyone has played many parts throughout their lives. How each person played their part until now has painted a picture of who they are to those they’ve worked with. Take time to answer questions 1 – 4. Your answers will be used to build the foundation for your personal brand. This exercise typically takes 10-20 minutes.

  1. What 2-6 personality traits or values best define/describe you?
  2. What are 2-4 things that define your reputation? What are you known for by other people?
  3. What 1-2 abilities, knowledge, skills, etc., distinguish your from your peers?
  4. How can you prove it to others (1-2 ways)? These can be people who would vouch for you or successful projects that show proven results.

“To be, or not to be, that is the question:

You know that quote had to come eventually. =0) Now that you’ve explored who you are, it is time to look at who you want to be. Knowing where you’re going is an important step to opening new opportunities. It is best to dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Questions 5-7 will help you do just that. This exercise usually takes 10-20 minutes.

  1. What are 2 things I would like to be known for a year from now?
  2. What is one resume enhancement activity that I plan to achieve in the next 3 months? This doesn’t have to be at work, it could be a volunteer activity, side project, etc.
  3. Name 2-4 important people who you have added to your contacts in the past 3 months. Note similar traits, positions, titles, etc. that they have.

But wait, coming out soon the next article in the series: Personal Brands, A Shakespearean View Act II has the most important steps to create tools for establishing and managing an effective personal brand. Don’t stop before you see how to apply all the work you just did!


Personal Branding Faux Pas on Social Media

I am constantly requested to demystify the concept of Personal Branding and how one must manage their Personal Reputation across the Social Media Goliath! So, I want to take this opportunity to highlight the following critical aspects of Personal Branding for the starters, and offer a crisp action plan for you to start working on your Personal Brand Today, so you may steer clear of the given 15 Personal Branding Faux Pas, across the Social Media!

What is your Personal Brand?

Your Personal Brand is the unique brand value proposition that you offer; it is the reputation that you consciously build by consistently delivering your brand proposition-your Brand Promise.  It is a beautiful mosaic of who you are; what you do; whom you do it for; and why only YOU can do it for them.

For a Powerful Personal Brand, all that matters is the Power of Positioning.  Your Brand perception is empowered by the way you Position it in the hearts and minds of your target audience.

The Power of Positioning, Personified!

What your Personal Brand is NOT?

It is not what you say you are; it is what people say you are. Period.

It is rather defined by what you do, your brand experience: both online and offline. And Personal Branding is the process of building that reputation so people say what you want them to say about you.

What is Personal Branding?

In a nutshell, Personal Branding is the art of creating a unique brand identity and positioning for the Brand YOU and the science of building and managing the desired reputation of the Brand YOU in the Industry.

Personal Branding and the Social Media

There are multiple connotations of Personal Brand and Social Media Presence; but what some people often fail to understand is that Social Media is just a Media, after all, not the authentication of your Brand Promise; the authentication of your Brand Promise comes from the Brandtastic Experience of the Brand YOU!

Your presence across the Social Media is NOT your Personal Brand; but the experience you offer to the world across Social Media is just one of the dimensions of the Brand YOU.

However, the power of Social Media does present you with the Golden Opportunity to enlighten the world with your ICONIC Personal Brand Experience; and to do so, there are a few mandates that one must follow. There are DOs and there are DON’Ts; but it will do you much more good, if you absorb the DON’Ts earlier in Life and avoid committing these Personal Branding Faux Pas in front of the Global Audience across these networks!


15 DOs for Personal Branding across Social Media

  1. Active presence across 3 major Social Media Platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook
  2. A Synchronized brand identity across platforms: Clarity, Consistency, Constancy -> Credibility
  3. Use a professional headshot across Platforms
  4. Get relevant and sensible vanity urls on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook page; plus your own blog/website
  5. Segregate your personal and professional circles
  6. Get a Google profile for smart SEO management
  7. Brand your profile on linked in: brand your headline with your personal brand positioning in 120 characters or less.
  8. Get and maintain a blog for sharing your knowledge
  9. Engage with your brand community-intra and inter industry
  10. Become a guest blogger as often as possible
  11. Google yourself regularly and Set up google alerts
  12. Be the guardian angel of your corporate brand
  13. Personify your corporate brand
  14. Conceive your Brand’s Voice and be consistent in it
  15. Be yourself!

Guard your Personal Brand Reputation by staying miles apart from the following 15 Personal Branding Faux Pass across the Social Media!

15 DON’Ts for Personal Branding across Social Media

  1. Be the copy cat Brand: or an invariable Corporate CEO Clone
  2. Be the ignorant Brand: Ignore social media because you don’t get it
  3. Be the lazy Brand: update your professional profile regularly
  4. Be the Mr. Invisible Brand: there, but not literally there!
  5. Be the I,Me, Myself Brand: rather be the Benevolent Brand
  6. Be the Preacher Brand: do walk the talk
  7. Be anti-social Brand: don’t promote and push, but engage and enrich
  8. Be the anti-personal Brand: personalize your invites/DMs
  9. Be the wanderer Brand: have a goal plan for your Personal Brand
  10. Don’t delegate your SM account management
  11. Don’t underestimate the power of a bad move on the SM
  12. Don’t have a chaotic brand presence across different media
  13. Get Twitter-ed away/ carried away; focus on what is your tweet quotient? personal/professional/personal professional -mix/random
  14. Don’t Brand yourself, without knowing your innate and authentic brand proposition
  15. Don’t be the OOPS Brand: Mind this list! And avoid those OOPs moments with the world watching.

Use this list as the starter kit for your Personal Branding activities across Social Media; our next post will focus on HOW and WHERE to Brand Yourself!

Want more now? Drop in to our Website: to discover how you can begin the Personal Branding process with a completely FREE trial of My Brand VOICE Program: India’s first Personal Brand Reputation Audit Tool!

After all, you need to know your Brand today, to grow it tomorrow!