Who Are You?

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Can you answer these two questions?

  1. What are you known for?
  2. What happens because of you?

Try to think of personal branding like a marketing strategy focused on you. So often we concentrate on everything but us; however, when it comes to personal branding, you have to be the priority. Part of the challenge is figuring out who you really are (this includes your values, passions, personality, and skills), who you want to serve, and how you are special, unique, and different.

In Minneapolis, where I live, there are many companies and individuals that do what I do. It’s a very creative town, so there are lots of options to choose from if you need creative services; however, there are a few things I feel set me apart from the pack. I’ll describe my differentiators below.

“I am a disruptor. I don’t do vanilla, so if you want more of the same, you shouldn’t hire me and my team. I disrupt the status quo. Why? To get noticed. To stand out. To help my clients be perceived as influencers in their space. I am hardwired to notice what is different, and that is one of my specialties.

“I think differently. Frequently, in corporations the sales and marketing departments don’t get along. They often have opposing agendas. You might not expect that, given the nature of their roles where marketing supports sales’ efforts. However, it’s like the chicken and the egg analogy: Which comes first? If you ask each team, they’ll answer that they do; when, in fact, they need to work together to achieve the goal. I’m always looking at marketing strategy from a sales perspective because I think with both the marketing side and sales side of my brain equally. Getting the job done is about connecting the dots and using both skill sets.”

“I’m all in. When you hire Re-Tool Marketing, you get me. Many agencies that are my size don’t have their CEO working with the clients. In other words, those CEOs are more “behind the scenes.” I’m eyebrows deep in the trenches with my clients. My team supports my directive and they execute on my plan. It may seem a little like “Big Brother,” but I have twenty-five plus years of experience with Fortune 500 brands and I want my clients to feel they are getting that experience in their business.”

When you think about the facets of your personal brand, you need to look at everything about you that impacts who you are and how you “show up” in the world—whether physically or virtually. This includes many aspects:

  • Image
  • Style
  • Reputation
  • Perception
  • Character
  • Vocation

Have you ever spent time, serious time, analyzing everything that makes you you? The impact of your brand is very powerful, whether you are doing anything about managing it or not. Think about the times you’ve been on Facebook and seen pictures of your business colleagues looking provocative or saw them participating in a heated rant. Those moments are lasting—even though they captured a single moment in time.

Everyone has a personality, but not everyone has a personal brand. Strategically nurturing your personal brand to maximize your potential can make you relevant, different, unique, and remembered. At the core, a personal brand is what you stand for and reflects how you choose to be perceived. One of the great things about personal branding is its authenticity. By actively cultivating your brand, you control how you are perceived by others. Personal brands showcase what you’re known for, and that, in turn, increases your credibility as a professional. Defining yourself in such a distinct way allows you to become an established character that people look to as an influencer.

Once you get your personal brand where you want it to be, make sure to keep one eye on it. Be mindful of the collective impression and mutterings about you so you can ensure your brand aligns exactly how you want it to. Help others if you can when you see them going down a dangerous personal branding path and be authentically proud of who you are because you are special—so share it with the world!