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!

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