Reinvent Your Personal Brand

Have you been passed over for a promotion?  Again?

When others describe you do they use words like “visionary” or “dinosaur”?

Are you looking for a job?

How would you describe your own personal brand?

Have you missed an opportunity because someone thought of you incorrectly?

Take Charge of Your Personal Brand

Karen Kang is one of the world’s authorities on creating a personal brand.  As a brand strategist, Karen guides individuals through a process to strategically create a personal brand.  Karen knows what it takes to build a brand.  She is a former partner with world-renowned Regis McKenna, Inc., the marketing firm that created and launched the Apple brand.  She’s the founder and CEO of BrandingPays, and she has consulted with over 150 organizations around the world.

Her new book BrandingPays is a step-by-step guide to reinventing your personal brand.  I recently had the opportunity to ask Karen a few questions about her work and her book.

Karen, you’ve worked with startups all the way to some of the world’s biggest companies.  Although you continue to do corporate branding, your new work is mainly focused on individuals.  Why is personal branding so important today?  Has personal branding increased in importance?

Personal branding has gone from being a “nice to have” to a “got to do.”  Competitive forces in business and communication—from globalization to social media—have combined to make personal branding a requirement.  Gone are the days when you got on a career track with one company and rode it until the end of the line.  Whether you work for a company or not, you are a free agent.  You need to think like a “company of one” in how you position and market yourself.

Karen Kang

A One-Word Question to Improve Results

Photo by Ksayer1 on flickr.

One of the questions I always ask a customer is why.

Why did you choose us?  I love to call new customers and ask.  I’ve done this hundreds of times throughout my career.  In all of those conversations, I’ve never had a new customer not want to tell me the “why.”  And I learn valuable information with each phone call or visit.

It’s such an easy thing to ask.  I’m not sure why everyone doesn’t make it a habit.  Like most things, it may be easy to do but it’s also easy not to do.  I know when I fall out of the habit, I lose a valuable opportunity.

Almost always mentioned is the professionalism of the company’s representative.  It may also be the service, the product, or the price.  It could also be driven by a negative experience with the competition.

It’s important to listen and understand why customers are buying from you.  It can inform your corporate strategy.  You may spot a trend.  You may learn that you have strengths you didn’t even realize.  You may even develop new services because of the feedback.

Almost invariably on these calls I find other benefits:

  • Developing new relationships
  • Hearing about issues I wouldn’t have known about
  • Learning about employees who have gone above and beyond

If you’re running a business or in a leadership position, take the time out to make a few calls.  Ask the question.  Then, just listen and take notes.  I’m willing to bet you will learn more than you thought possible.