The single most important tip for personal branding

I help my fellow employees at GoDaddy build their personal brand everyday. It’s my job and I love it. I love watching the light bulb go off and seeing them realize they have something cool to share with the world.

Personal Brand development takes time

The process of building a personal brand feels overwhelming at first. Most of the people I coach are thinking about their personal brand backwards. Their thought process might look something like this:

  • I can’t believe the world hasn’t asked me to do a Ted Talk yet…
  • I know something and it’s cool.
  • Also, can I have free clothes and a car?

At this point in the conversation, I usually just tell them, “you’re the man now dawg” and bail. Ok, not really, but that’s my sign to help them understand what Personal Brand really means.

Be real

  • Do you boo.
  • Be authentic.
  • Be yourself (Brian Fanzo preaches this).

You get the picture. There’s a reason personal branding experts key on this statement. It’s important.

If you’re trying too hard- if you’re not being real with your audience, they’re going to smell it like a fart in a car. It’s obvious when someone is faking it.

If you’re honest, people can tell and they’ll love you for it. There’s something magical that happens when you stop faking and start doing – it’s called authentic passion.

I remember watching an episode of American Idol years ago. It was one of those first episodes in a season where you watch people try out for the show. Sometimes they are amazing and touch your soul with their voice. Other times, they touch your soul because regardless of skill – they are all in and they don’t care what you think. They just love what they’re doing.

This kid from Berkley walks out and starts singing a Ricky Martin song. His tone was wrong, his voice was wrong, his dancing was wrong. His heart though, NAILED IT.

By the end of the clip, I was 100% on board for team William Hung. I loved that guy! I wanted to hang out with him! Honestly, I still love that guy.

Be pure

Being pure sounds easier than it really is. Stop thinking about your hypothetical Ted Talk. Instead, think about how the skill, knowledge, or talent you have can help people right now. That’s pure.

Here’s some examples that illustrate what this looks like in real life.

I have a friend named Shawn. He loves writing. I know that I can call him and ask him for advice on an article I’m writing and he’ll spend half an hour giving me his ideas. I’ll hang up with notes that are longer than the article I showed him.

Then, there’s Heather. She’s passionate about a few things, one of them is training search and rescue dogs. I know that if I ask her questions about my dog, she’s going to share some rad advice about how to be a better dog owner. Notice I didn’t say, “how to train my dog better”? I learned that from her. She’s THAT good. I called for dog training advice and she trained me!

You can’t fake that kind of passion and if you’re honestly passionate about a subject, you’ll want to share it with everyone. That’s the key friends.

Share your authentic passion and the rest happens. People will find you. If you’re being real and authentic with your audience, you’ll get asked to speak about that passion.

Hey, on that note, if you want to talk about Star Wars – I’m game!

Isaac in a Stormtrooper helmet

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