Tag Archives: personal brand strategist

The Business of Attention: Make Brand YOU command ‘IT’- Part 1

Be attentive to your Brand’s Attention  Quotient;

The more you command ‘IT’, better be your Brand Quotient.

 Attention Quotient1

The irony of life today is that we live in a perpetual attention seeking economy-in the age of mass attention deficit disorder. With Brands, Companies, People, Places all vying for your attention, the most prized real estate of this digital economy is your attention, your mental real estate. And the most coveted  business strategies today are the ones which help you command ‘IT’- command that priceless Attention!

And yet the beauty of this business of attention is that one can command it for all the right reasons with a little strategic planning and personal branding! The power of personal branding lies in the ability of Brand YOU to stand for ‘something, be known for ‘something’ and be wanted for ‘something’. This ‘something’ is the exclusive expertise quotient of the Brand YOU: it is the promise of value which you offer as an executive or an entrepreneur to your communities.

When you have a few seconds to stand out and command the coveted attention of your clients, customers, prospective employers, potential partners etc… it becomes imperative for you to take active control of your brand, your story and present it to the world-such that it offers an irresistible experience of the Brand YOU! This 4 part series of articles will focus on the 4 main components of commanding IT (attention) at the first point of contact:

A. Brand Identity

Your Identity stems from how well you know YOU, and how well you ensure the world knows of you! A powerful brand identity evolves from the 4Ws of the Brand YOU:

Who are YOU; What do YOU do;

Whom do YOU do it for; Why YOU are the go-to guy

Define your 4 Ws by highlighting the following aspects of each W;

1. Who are YOU: This is your professional brand identity influenced by your personal brand attributes. Use your Values and Passions to add more depth to your professional brand by making it truly YOUnique. Focus on what you believe in and why you love what you do to add an emotional layer to your brand.

Remember: The first rule of commanding attention is to build an emotional connect.

2. What do YOU do: This is your scope of work and area of expertise; Talk about the implied benefit of your expertise and not just the rational value you offer; when you tell them how your value addition impacts them and adds exclusive value to them; then you have all their selfish attention.

Remember: The second rule of commanding attention is to answer for your audience, ‘What’s in it for me?’

3. Whom do YOU do it for: The target audience that you add direct value to; the companies/verticals/industries/challenges/visions that you can impact with your experience and expertise; the ideal pool of clientele that you love to work with as you add inimitable value to them. Perhaps the most important element to boost the attention quotient for the Brand YOU; it is critical to define your ideal target audience so your message is reaching the right audience, and you DO NOT waste time being everything to everyone.

Remember: The third rule of commanding attention is to focus your attention on a niche audience to be the cynosure of that audience’s attention.

4. Why YOU are the go-to guy: The make it or break it element of your Brand’s Attention Quotient-why YOU matter: You need to craft a compelling brand promise, which is influenced by your bragging rights, your proven accomplishments, your work legacy and your thought leadership. This is what seals the deal and catapults you from the attention zone to the consideration zone; and eventually to the conviction zone.

Remember: The fourth rule of commanding attention is to take ownership of what you are shamelessly good at, and present it to the world, so they too know the ‘best of you!’

Use these 4Ws to build and own your personal brand identity, and share it with the world across relevant Social Media Platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, G+, You Tube etc.

The next post in this series ‘The Business of Attention: Make Brand YOU Command IT’ will highlight how to create an Invincible Brand Positioning for the Brand YOU!

Sinful Personal Branding Tip #1: The ‘Superbia’ art of building the Brand YOU.

pride roses

Those who speak ill of pride (superbia) have never put it to a noble use. Pride in itself, is not a sin; being consumed by it, is. The mere mortals may get consumed by fickle pride; the reigning immortals of the corporate kingdom, command it to build a legacy. My Superbia way of building the Brand YOU:

  1. Pride in your value: If you do not believe in yourself, nobody will. Likewise, if you do not believe in the exclusive value that you offer, who else will? Empower your brand with an exclusive and rare promise of value that makes the world proud of you, your brand.  Pride in the promise of your brand value.
  2. Pride in your network: Gone is the era of thriving in solo; today, you must belong- belong to a tribe that you may intellectually nourish and be nurtured in return. The stronger your tribe, the strong be your brand. Pride in the enrichment of your network.
  3. Pride in your vision: Your Vision must speak for itself, raise applause, touch hearts and transform lives, one life at a time. Your vision is not for yourself, but the society, the world, the universe. Envision such a noble change that the entire universe prides in your vision, and conspires to help you realize it. Pride in the benevolence of your vision.
  4. Pride in your commitment: Time is a humble servant of your Brand, but once you commit your service to it, time will laud the karma of your brand. Dedicate at least 10 minutes to your brand karma daily; and watch your brand turnaround the karmic wheel, and how! Pride in the commitment of your brand karma.
  5. Pride in your brand: Your brand is your thought leadership; your thought leadership that will define your reputation.  A reputation that will be immortalized in your legacy. A legacy that will be cherished for an eternity. Pride in the legacy of your brand.

So, be proud of your superbia indulgence; after all such noble manifestation of pride, is what Icons are made of.

Your turn to tell me how will you indulge in this pride-tastic art of building the Brand YOU!

The Invisible CEO Diaries-Part 3: Why Inconsistency does not build a Legacy!’

The third in a 3-part series on ‘The Invisible CEO Diaries’. Check out the Part 1 & Part 2 as well.

The Invisible CEO Diaries shares the 3 most forbidden sins that our Indian CEOs are falling prey to!

Sin #3: Being Inconsistent

Legacies are Inspiring; And it’s your time to build one.

A legacy shapes up from inspirations; one inspiration at a time. What it needs is YOU, and Your Time. Demanding jet surfing careers often rob you of the life’s most treasured luxury: Time. After giving 48 hours a day to your mundane responsibilities, it’s time to halt and command time; now, for yourself.

Being the Inconsistent CEO in today’s digital age is characterized by the following faux pass:

  1. A random burst of digital footprint without a woven theme or context or appeal
  2. Do not Walk the Talk: Lack of synchronization of your offline & your online reputation. “Will the real Mr. Moody please stand up?”
  3. Social media activity characterized by the seasonal changes; when jobs change sooner than seasons, does your digital footprint too?
  4. Inconsistency of your voice (professional vis a vis personal) across different social media sends mixed messages to your audience. “Is this the legacy you wish to build?”
  5. Your burn out quotient is higher than your happiness quotient; where not you, but your job commands your time.
  6. Tipping Point: You realize your professional life has compromised your personal identity, whilst trying to be everything to everyone, you’ve lost your true self in the maze of life.

Well, time is precious, but you, priceless! No time lost can be reclaimed, but your future can. The only challenge is to realize the need: for change, for time, for yourself. Personal Branding empowers you to commit yourself to a better future; it enables you to live your life on your terms. A Powerful Personal Brand empowers you to control your life, to build a reputation that is consistent with your karma, your legacy: a legacy you build today, that inspires the world to come.

Personal Branding is your karma, for your life: where you build your personal brand, bask in the glory of its powerful aura, and ultimately live the Brand YOU. Consistency in the delivery of your Personal Brand’s Promise is the SOUL of your Brand Reputation, that brings your Brand to life- both online & offline. But When should you do it? Well, don’t you already know the answer to that…

These are the 3 most common sins our Icons in the making are falling prey to. If you wish to take control of your Personal Brand today and build a legacy that inspires the world tomorrow, lets talk!

The Invisible CEO Diaries-Part 1: Why is the CEO ‘The Invisible Icon?’

They are the Leaders, and often the Thought Leaders of India’s fastest growing companies; but who are they really? In the pursuit of Corporate Excellence, sacrifices have been made, compromises have been sought; and these have contributed to the growing league of gentlemen, who are indeed inimitable performers, but are still invisible.

The Invisible CEO Diaries shares the 3 most forbidden sins that our Indian CEOs are falling prey to! This is the first in a 3-part series of ‘The Invisible CEO Diaries’.

Sin #1: Being Invisible

Hail the Mr. India CEO, who is there, but not really there! The Mr. India Syndrome refers to the figurative presence and the literal absence of our CEOs across the Social Media in the Web 2.0 era.

Being the Invisible CEO in today’s digital age is characterized by the following faux pass:

  1. Namesake profiles on professional social media platform like LinkedIn; which were created in the BC (Before Christ) times are now obsolete & ostracized!
  2. The moment you walk into a roomful of Dignitaries, Nobody recognizes You! Because the generic silhouette instead of a professional headshot, keeps you invisible both online & offline.
  3. When searched online, due to a dismal digital presence, the Google Geek couldn’t have been more unkind to your online reputation.
  4. Delegating social media accounts like Twitter, does severe injustice to your true persona as well as your company’s reputation
  5. Laurels of your offline success are not sung online; as no other Soul outside your cozy circle has been enriched by your Career Karma
  6. Tipping point: When you are googled; every other “John Smith” surfaces, but YOU!

Well, all hope isn’t lost, yet! Your knight in shining armor is here; to take the Brand YOU from the dark shadows of invisibility to the powerful heights of invincibility! A Powerful Personal Brand empowers you to step out from the invisible shadows of professional oblivion into the glory of ICONIC Professional Excellence.

Personal Branding empowers you to Discover what makes the Iconic Brand YOU- YOUnique; it is the art and science of unearthing your exclusive brand value proposition that differentiates you from the world, and puts you in the limelight. Once you know, what makes the Brand YOU tick, you are ready to build the desired Reputation of the Brand YOU; after all, your Personal Brand, is your Reputation- both online & offline. But How do you do it? Well, isn’t that always the Question…

The next article will talk about the perils of Ignoring your Personal Brand!

The REAL Life Fairy-tale of Personal Branding!

Your Career is your Legacy to the world, STOP horsing around with it; today!

Be the Magical Unicorn

It’s Time. It’s now or never.

What if you can stop horsing around with the not-so-perfect career/life and could instead transform yourself into the magical unicorn-who always get’s that magical dream job and the golden break and the perfect career! What if you have the opportunity to differentiate yourself and brand your existence; not just brand it: be known as the magical unicorn of your industry! You are the superstar of your life; the King Midas of your little fairytale; name the thing you desire; touch it and watch it then transform into gold, just like your professional career. Sounds good right? OK Mr. Midas, back to the 21st century; now let me show you how to be command the savvy magic of Personal Branding to transform yourselfinto the Brandtastic Magical Unicorn…

Chapter 1: Brand YOU vs the Big Bad Wolf

The Corporate Wolf in Disguise

Your Careers are rewarding. Period. But now anticipate the long walk through those dense woods towards Corporate Nirvana- And don’t you be shocked to discover that Big Bad Corporate Wolf  maliciously draining you out of your life and energy, both! The arduous journey towards corporate nirvana, often comes at the cost of a life: Yours. But the 21st Century’s Red Riding Hoods are a smarter breed; they now smell the Wolf from the mile and become better equipped to conquer the Brand Wolf, with a sharper and a smarter Brand YOU.

Chapter 2: Brand YOU: The Sleeping Beauty

Brand YOU’s Kiss of Life

If you may, Let this moment be the Kiss of Life for the Brand YOU. You have been there, done that; but all this while the fire in You has been dormant. That Fire is the power of the Brand YOU. Believe it or not, you indeed are a Brand; and have the making of an ICON as well. But momentarily your Brand is under a deep enchanted sleep; Let this moment serves you as your Knight in shining armor, your prince charming who has come to bring the Brand YOU to life. All you need is ‘The Kiss’: which this moment just presented to you.

Chapter 3: Brand YOU and The Beast

The Fake YOU Beast

If there is a Beast, it’s hidden deep within. Or so the world believes; but little do they know that the real beast raises his ugly face in your daily life! As Schuyler Kaye, of T4 Execs puts it: The Real Beast is no one but YOU: the FAKE YOU!

A dilemma it sure is, Branding yourself as someone whom the whole world will look upto and respect, and at the same time leveraging on your innate authenticity for a truly Brand YOU Experience, is a challenge for sure. But the beauty of the process of Personal Branding is, it makes you fall in love with your True self, transforms you into the handsome prince charming and vanquishes the Beast. So empower the Brand YOU with the power of Love for yourself, your authentic self, and silence the Fake Beast forever!

Chapter 4: Brand YOU’s Magical Genie

The Brand Genie at your service

Since this is my fairy-tale, I now present you with your Brand Genie: that will empower you to transform your Brand Horse into the Brand Unicorn! The Genie is your Vision and the Lamp is your Passion. You need to discover the deepest passionsof the Brand YOU and the Vision that it has for itself, for the world. Your Passions fuel your Brand’s Vision, and empower you to make your dream vision come true. All you need is a Passion & a Vision. So, stimulate your Brand Genie’s lamp daily & watch it bring your Brand to life!

Chapter 5: Brand YOU & Your Seven Dwarfs

Your 7 Brand Guardians

Dwarfs I might have christened them, but surely these they are not! These seven are worthy of being hailed as your Brand’s knights in action. Each of these virtues will empower you to nourish as well as guard your Brand when need be.

  1. Clarity: Be clear in the Promise of the Brand YOU
  2. Consistency: Be an on-brand performer every time.
  3. Constancy: Be Visible; in everything you do; be available to make someone’s life better every day
  4. Communication: Have a compelling voice of the Brand YOU; both literal & figurative
  5. Credibility: Clarity, consistency, constancy in your brand communication will build an invincible credibility of the Brand YOU
  6. Competitiveness: A revered credibility will give you a powerful competitiveness in the market
  7. Commitment: commitment to personal excellence coupled with worldly benevolence will elevate the Brand YOU to ICONIC heights

Chapter 6: Brand YOU & Your Magical Beanstalk

Your Brand’s Magical Beanstalk

With your 7 dwarfs-cum-knights out there to guard your Brand; it’s time to take on the world! My magic beans of advice will empower you to build and sustain your magical beanstalk of a successful brand strategy minus the fear of the fat ol’ corporate giant coming down on you!

Your Brand strategy consists of a milestone map that aids the strategic growth of your Personal Brand; this magical beanstalk will take your Brand from today to tomorrow!

  1. Write down a Goal-a-thon: Pen down every single goal of your life; review it; and then go back and write some more.
  2. Now number these goals as per the achievement deadlines: 1 for within 2 years, 2 for 2 to 5 years and 3 for 5 to 10 years.
  3. Group and Regroup: group up your number 1s and 2 and 3s to get a snapshot of yours brand’s future
  4. Prioritize the list: now rework your 1s, 2s and 3s one at a time and prioritize your goals
  5. 1+1 =2: group up your minor goals such as they are help you achieve the major goals of your list
  6. Final review: scan your list and edit or delete any irrelevant points to seal the deal!
  7. Action time: your beanstalk for a more successful Brand YOU is now ready for your ascend to glory!

Chapter 7: Brand YOU & Your Golden Touch

Your Brandtastic Golden Touch

You are your Brand in action; Period. Every single experience of you is what builds the Brand YOU every single day. To ensure that you are able to bring your Brand to life, we present to you ‘Brandtastic Experiences’: Fantastic Brand experiences that transform every single Brand Experience of You into a precious memory!

The consistency in offering a Brandtastic Experience is your Golden Touch; which will eventually transform the Brand YOU into the ICONIC Brand of your Industry. The art and science of managing your Personal Brand Reputation consistently lies in the secret of Being Brandtastic!

Chapter 8: Brand YOU & The Happily Ever After

Brand New YOU & Your Happily Ever After!

To actually Live your Happily Ever After, I now Present your fairy god mother: The Brand ICON Program. Discover this Iconic Journey of Personal Branding today, and get ready to be transformed into the Magical Unicorn!

Still unsure? Sign up for the Magical Tips from Tanvi to explore this beautiful fairy tale of Personal Branding, till you are ready to experience it.

Be Brandtastic: 5 Golden Rules for an ICONIC Personal Brand Experience

Icons are loved; Icons are revered; Icons are Fantastic!

What if I tell you it doesn’t take much to be an Icon-The Apple of your Industry’s Eye! (Pun, intended) All you need is what Steve Jobs had when he brought Apple back(thanks to the brilliance of Ken Segall) from the brink of bankruptcy – Passion & Vision

If Life is a Canvas, Passion adds color to it! Every Individual’s life is a unique portrait of passions that add vitality & vigor to an otherwise monochromatic existence. Passion when channeled with a Vision empowers an Individual to build a legacy, larger than life, that inspires the world to come! If every Individual decides to follow his Passion, and transform his Vision into a reality; we would have a league of truly ICONIC Individuals like Jobs who can create History!

There are Icons & there are ICONS; Legendary ICONS leverage on the power of Personal Branding to create Fantastic Experiences for their Audience that touch hearts & inspire lives. To catapult Your Brand into the league of such ICONIC Individuals, I present you with the concept of BrandtasticTM-Fantastic Brand Experiences: Building an ICONIC Personal Brand that manifests the power of Fantastic Experiences for the Community, time after time.

1. Pour Your Brand’s SOUL: The SOUL of Your Brand is the essence of Your Brand that distinguishes you from the herd. For Apple, it’s Innovation; For Volvo it’s Safety; For Richard Branson it’s Adventure; For Oprah it’s Compassion. Go ahead and Discover what is the SOUL of Your Brand that makes you one in a million! Once you’ve discovered it, now religiously incorporate it into every aspect of your Personal Brand and bring your Brand to Life.

2. Brand your VOICE:

Building a Brand, in reality is building a Reputation. Your Brand has a VOICE (the art of communicating & expressing your Brand) of its own, which is responsible for building the desired Brand Reputation: both, online & offline. Adopt a uniform Brand Content theme across the following vehicles, infused with the SOUL of your brand;

  1. Your Brand Bio: Your first snapshot of Personal Brand
  2. Your Gravatar: Your Global window of Brand Expression
  3. Your Professional Bio: Your Professional Brand snapshot on LinkedIn
  4. Your Virtual Real Estate: Your Website, Blog and Social Media alter egos
  5. Your Brand Tangibles: Your Business Cards & other paraphernalia

A consistent Brand Communication & Expression builds an alluring Brand Voice and a steadfast Brand Reputation.

3. Brand your Experience:

Excite them online & Enchant them offline, is my motto! You are your Brand in Action- Conceive a Signature Look and Feel that is pulsating with the SOUL of Your Brand. A Personal Tip: Have a Signature Greeting & Sign off when on Podium; introduce them to an ICONIC Brand & Sign out with an Inspiring Brand Experience.

4. Brand Your Value Proposition:

Make people WANT to work with you, and only YOU. Offer them an indispensible rational value proposition and garnish it with an irresistible emotional value proposition-in terms of what ONLY you can do for them.

5. Be Yourself; Be Awesome; Be Brandtastic:

Personal Branding can indeed be a daunting task if you keep working on creating a decorated image of yourself; hence prima facie, Personal Branding is often viewed with unwarranted skepticism. The beauty of Life lies in its Simplicity; and the beauty of Personal Branding lies in the Simplicity of Being Yourself, all along.

These are my 5 Golden rules for creating Brandtastic Experiences for your audience; I would love to hear your side of the story, on how you offer Brandtastic Experiences. In the meanwhile, remember to Be Yourself; Be Awesome; Be Brandtastic!

Leaders are passé; 7 Steps to become the Thought Leader of your industry!

Leaders are very many; but Thought Leaders, they are a rare and a distinguished breed of individuals who are the visionary harbingers of tomorrow. When Leaders are striving to lead and live, thought leaders are creating a whole new world for us to live in! The classic example our world has witnessed is that of Nokia & Apple, the former Market Leader is still striving and thriving to sustain in this new world order, whereas the harbinger of tomorrow-the industry thought leader has banked on its spirit of thought leadership in innovation to bring our world closer to tomorrow. Simply put, Thought Leaders, do NOT wait for the tide to turn, they turn the tide and welcome the glorious tomorrow, today itself.

So what are THE distinguishing traits that separate the thought leader from the pack? Leaders may be born or made; but thought leadership is a different league altogether. There are 7 idiosyncratic traits of legendary thought leaders; we now show you how to embody these traits, in these 7 key steps to become the thought leader of your industry.

1. Follow your Passion

Passion prevails Profession. Period. If you are at crossroads between your passion and profession; don’t worry, as such a crossroad does not exist. The choice is simple: Your Passion has unrivalled power to fuel your Professional growth, and is the key contributing factor of thought leadership. Your Passion will open horizons, hitherto unknown or unexplored. Follow your passions to these new horizons, even if it is the road less travelled; the world will eventually follow you!

Where leaders demand following, thought leaders inspire it.

2. Find your BIG Idea: Carve your Niche

As Personal Branding Guru William Arruda says ‘What makes you Unique, Makes you Successful!’; regardless of your industry type, I am sure you all can find that one niche, that you can Create, Claim and Dominate. The message here is: Conceive that one BIG Idea or Create that one INVINCIBLE niche that you can proudly and more importantly happily pursue, lifelong. Remember what makes you happy, makes you successful too.

Leaders may be full of ideas, but the thought leader, is the Arjuna of Mahabharata: He fixates his mind onto the ONLY Idea which he truly believes in.

3. Be the Benevolent Visionary

Benevolence is the SOUL of Thought Leadership; unless your BIG Idea is able to touch hearts and Inspire lives, you haven’t reached your goal yet. Each Thought Leader has eventually created a legacy of inspiration for the world, in his own distinct way. Your BIG Idea should evolve into a BIGGER Picture that benefits the mankind, in either physical, emotional, mental, material or spiritual way. Find that one change that you aspire to be responsible for; transform the lives of people in the smallest way possible, rest will be history.

Aspire to Inspire; Inspiration empowers you to be THE Thought Leader, the credence of your industry.

4. Consistent Self Conviction

Every BIG Idea is first ridiculed, then opposed, then rejected before the world runs out of options to decry the nouveau idea. As the thought leader, belief in yourself, is of paramount importance. Quoting Richards Gere (from Runaway Bride) with a twist “I guarantee there’ll be tough times, I guarantee at some point, you will crave for a way out, BUT I also guarantee that if you do not uphold this insane self conviction paradigm, then you will regret it for the rest of your life, thereafter; because you do know in your heart, this is what you are meant to do!”

Self conviction is the first challenge of thought leadership; Belief in your personal brand and its vision is the secret of making the world believe in you.

5. Walk the Talk, with a creative twist

So you want to Inspire a change in the world? Brilliant; now BE the Change. Thought leaders are revered because they have the potential to practise what they preach. They are not a group of preachers who are eons apart from manifesting their dogma; they are the people who THINK, DO and INSPIRE ACTION because their own actions speak louder than their thoughts. Inspirations are contagious, as a thought leader it is your moral responsibility to create a thought platform that is capable of touching a million lives, in a billion ways.

Walk the Talk, but ensure that every TALK is as unique as the life you are about to touch. Explore, Express & Excite the world with a new thought manifestation, every single day.

6. Eternal Commitment to the Cause

The cause was close to your heart, to your life, to your raison d’être. And that is what it should remain, even when you are hailed as the Iconic thought leader, as the messiah of the change, as the most idolized individual of your industry. It is very easy to be consumed by success and power, but equally difficult to command the power of success with deferential dignity. Staying true to the passionate purpose of your life, to continue the perseverance even when it is not driven by the hunger for success, is the true characteristic of the thought leader.

Thought Leadership is not a conscious adoption for professional excellence; but a subconscious commitment for personal excellence.

7.  Live your Brand; Inspire the World

The saga of your thought leadership is voiced by Your Personal Brand; it touches a million hearts today and inspires the world to come. A thought leader is always celebrated for having a strong Personal Brand, which is clear, constant and consistent time after time. It becomes his prerogative to create and communicate an Iconic, Inspiring and a truly Invincible Personal Brand Experience for his brand community which complements his Professional Excellence.

Live your Personal Brand, with unrivalled Elegance & Eloquence, such that it not only inspires others but immortalizes you, in their hearts.

Embody these 7 traits and become an Iconic Thought Leader, who Inspires Actionable Thought Leadership. Stop aspiring to lead the world; start inspiring the world towards a beautiful life. And remember Thought Leadership is not a moment of glory, but a glorious journey towards being ‘An ICONIC Brand‘ of your industry.

Leaders come and go; but thought leaders are immortalized in history as the true ICONS of the generation.

“Leaders make News; Thought Leaders, History!”