How The World Sees You: Lessons In Personal Branding

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Curious To Know Why You Should Invest Time And Energy Into Your Personal Branding?

I began my career as a copywriter, finding the best words to describe some of the world’s most loved brands.  When a brand finds those ideal words, it becomes more profitable and valuable and loved.

My experience in advertising taught me how to look at words and ideas through the eyes of others, and identify what others value.

I learned how the world sees you.

Great advertising isn’t about what a company wants to say.  It’s about what the market wants to hear about, talk about, and buy.  When companies don’t listen to what consumers need, want and value, they can damage their own brand.

Take for example a car manufacturer who creates a massive national advertising campaign around a new feature in its’ cars.  They’re now providing “extra uncomfortable seats to keep you from falling asleep at the wheel!” The car manufacturer thinks this is a great new safety feature, but didn’t bother to see how customers perceive the feature.  In this case, the campaign would probably fail.  Without properly communicating why this is a benefit, people wouldn’t see it as a must-have.  They’d probably be more inclined to check out the competition.  As a result, the company wasted its energy and money on messages that didn’t work.  Worse, consumers now have a negative impression.

The same is true for you.

It matters less how you see the world (the traditional approach based on psychology), and more how the world sees you (just like the brands you know and love).

Just because you perceive yourself a certain way doesn’t mean that your team or customers necessarily see you the same way.  In a connected workplace, your success relies on understanding the impressions you create.

So how do you apply this information to start making your own personal brand stand out?  You learn from the pros.

Great Brands Know A Secret: It Doesn’t Matter How You See The World.  What Matters Is How The World Sees You.

We live in a busy, distracted and over the commoditized world and people need shortcuts.  So, here are three communication lessons you can take away from the fascinating brands:

1.  Don’t Focus On How You Are Similar To Others, But How You Are Different
Leading brands stand out by sharpening their points of difference.  Different is better than better.  If a brand can carve out a very clear spot in people’s minds, the product or service ceases to be a commodity.  Like brands, understanding your own personal branding can give you a unique competitive advantage as well.

2.  Your Differences Can Be Very Small And Simple
The reality is that most products (and people) are virtually indistinguishable from their competitors at a glance.  Yet a leading brand can build a strong competitive edge around the minor differences.

3.  Once You “Own” A Difference, You Can Charge More Money
People pay more for products and people who add distinct value in some way.  And just as customers pay more for fascinating brands, employers pay higher salaries for employees who stand out for a specific benefit.

For example, Forbes magazine reported research findings that indicate that 85% of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead.

You too can stand out in a crowded environment, by tapping into your natural personality brand.  Once you do, you’ll be able to show others precisely why you matter, in 9 seconds or less.

Written by:

Sally Hogshead 

Sally Hogshead rose to the top of the advertising profession writing ads that fascinated millions of consumers. Her latest book is entitled ‘How the World Sees You‘. Her previous book, ‘Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation‘, has been translated into over a dozen languages. She frequently appears in national media, including NBC’s Today show and The New York Times. Hogshead was recently inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest award for professional excellence.

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