We Use to Brand Cattle: Now We Brand Ourselves?

Eller PDC Coach's Corner

By Matt Lehrer, Career Coach

Since ancient times, “hot branding” has been used to identify the owner of livestock.  Today, some ranchers brand livestock differently, for example, with ear tags or tattoos.  But whatever the method, branding has always served a very important purpose for ranchers:  to identify the livestock’s owner.  How and why do business professionals brand themselves today?

Peter Drucker says that we are living in the era of the three C’s – accelerated change, overwhelming complexity and tremendous competition.  Therefore, creating your personal brand is the only way you can stand out from the crowd.  But how do you develop your own brand?

Start by asking “what makes me different?”  “What do I want to be known for?”  Here are several keys to building a quality personal brand.  These are certainly not the only keys, but they are important ones.

Ask Why.  What is the ultimate purpose, belief or cause that inspires and drives you?  As Napoleon Hill said in “Think and Grow Rich,” “without developing an all-consuming obsession, a definite purpose and a burning desire, you won’t find the motivation to succeed.”

Do you want to leave a legacy?  Achieve great things?  Provide the very best lifestyle possible for your family?

Be Authentic.  Having an authentic personal brand is a valuable asset in today’s online, virtual and individual age.

Your personal brand should reflect your passion, dreams, purpose uniqueness, values, characteristics, experience and ambition – who you really are and what you really want.  This builds trust and credibility.

Position Yourself as the Go-To Expert.  Top experts often command the best jobs.

Dare to be Remarkable.  “Average is for losers,”  said Seth Godin.  Some say that if we are not remarkable, then we are invisible.

Develop Your Pitch and Get Noticed.  The purpose of the pitch is not to close the sale.  It’s to start the conversation, to sell the appointment.  And the best pitch is a true, stunning, brief little piece of your story.  Something real.

Strengths.  Know your strengths.  Live them and leverage them in the service of others.

Value.  It is powerful to have strengths but this must be paired with value.  How do your strengths deliver value to others?  Can you leverage your strengths to increase value for your organization, team, customers and clients?

Visibility.  How do people know about you and what are they saying about you?  How well do you network and make use of social media to create and broaden your visibility?

Engagement.  Deliver on your promises and your strength and value.  Personal branding is more than a clever slogan.  Ensure that you continually engage in developing your strengths, thinking and acting upon the value you offer to others and maintaining a vibrant and authentic visibility.

Oh, did I mention creating a resume that reflects your brand?

The PDC can help you with envisioning or developing a personal brand, or with your resume or other career planning needs. Please feel free to make an appointment with us at any time.

There are so many analogies between the branding of livestock and our branding of self.  But my word limit is up, oh well, so I’ll leave that discussion for another time!