Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What Is Personal Branding?

We talk a lot on this blog about personal branding, but what is the real purpose of it? According to blogger/UCLA business professor/former marketing executive for Coca-Cola Nance Rosen, everyone has an image (whether you're a musician or not), and the goal of personal branding is to intentionally and authentically ensure that your image is coherent, consistent, and compelling.

Rosen says in a recent article that, while your career is part of your image, it is the LEAST important aspect of your image. So what are the more important aspects of your image? Rosen provides the following acronym to illustrate the different aspects of your image (paraphrased):
I – What are you IMPROVING? For instance, are you learning something new? Are you changing something about yourself? It could be something like learning to play a new instrument or learning a new language. Or it could be something smaller like waking up earlier each morning to write or exercise.
M – What are you MANAGING? What financial matters, workload, community commitments, family circumstances, and more are under your control? Rosen says that you are your own Chief Life Officer. What things would others be surprised or impressed to know that you are actively managing?
A – What are you ADVISING other people about? What expertise, or knowledge are you imparting to others? Are you serving as a mentor to others? Could you be a resource to other people or businesses in your industry?
G – What are you GIVING? Where is your social philanthropy, your cause-oriented work, your support for others in need? How are you making the world a better place?
E – Finally, how are you EARNING your living? What are the large (and small) jobs you have or have had? Do you do more than one thing? That’s so good to share with your audience. Perhaps you're a full-time musician who also has your own line of clothing. Or, perhaps you are a full-time graphic designer who gets paid to sing at various gigs on the weekends. That’s real multi-tasking.
When helping a paNASH Style client determine how to articulate his or her image, we have them share with us other aspects of their lives and personality than just their career or their music. It goes back to the idea of providing holistic image consulting services in order to capture the full essence of the person in the overall image. Audiences want to know about and be able to relate to the multiple layers of the real person, not a manufactured persona.

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