Actually, I hate the term ‘personal brand.’
It sounds like another made-up marketing buzzword to bamboozle people. And who seriously cares? Be honest. Do you give a damn about my personal brand? Do I give a damn about yours?
However, I’ve noticed 7 remarkable benefits to having a (cringe) ‘Personal Brand.’ In no particular order:
1. You take immediate action
You are you. So you don’t have to wait around or learn anything to start.
If you don’t know what the heck you’re talking about, you can write an article about how you don’t know what the heck you’re talking about. And because you’ve started moving, you pick up things as you go along.
Gary Halbert, one of my great direct marketing heroes, said: ‘You learn a lot more from movement than meditation.’ Having a personal brand gives you movement. Movement gives you motivation. And it teaches you more along the way.
You kick-start a powerful cycle of success.
2. Quitting is almost impossible
I’ve had countless failed business ideas.
I remember my brother and I once tried to launch a meditation product. Success didn’t come fast enough. I was young. I expected more. I quit.
The pain of quitting is you never really know if success was just around the corner. The pain of not quitting is you don’t know if you’re wasting your life. But you can’t quit being you.
You can’t run away from your name. So you really don’t have any option but to keep going.
3. You stop taking everything so seriously
If you have a regular ‘brand,’ well that’s serious, isn’t it?
You can’t have much fun with that. But as a person, you have all sorts of amusing things happen. And this is all good fodder to throw into your emails and blog posts. For example:
The other week I got a new dog. He likes it when I gently pull on his ears. Here’s me gently pulling on his ears…
…And it’s fine. Because you’re not reading this with the expectation that everything I do is super professional. I live a normal life. I have a dog. Sometimes I pull on his ears.
You can do this too. It’s your ‘personal brand.’ So just have some fun.
4. You save time getting new clients
For nearly 10 years I’d see clients write back delighted.
“We just smashed our previous year’s sales 335%!”
“This copy CRUSHED it!!!”
“Leads are coming in 4X cheaper.”
And each time, I would smile, nod my head and click to the next email. It’s ridiculously stupid, especially for someone like me. Somebody who should know better.
Sometimes I’d run into a potential client in a restaurant:
“Why don’t you send me some examples?” they’d suggest. Each time, I’d have to spend half a morning, cobbling together examples, proof and results.
But now it’s easy. I just keep track of things as I go along.
If somebody writes back with a big win, I turn it into a case study and post it in the blog. Testimonials and other proof get recorded and stuck into the sidebar. It stays updated with barely any effort. And when a potential client comes along, I just have to email them a few links. Easy 🙂
5. You stop worrying about trolls
You stroll through the outrage culture with your head up high.
Businesses find trolls more difficult to navigate. There are too many people worrying about their jobs. As a person, it’s easy. You can’t please them all. Not everyone is going to like you. So why worry?
6. You can be wrong, and it’s okay
People are wrong all the time.
What you consider to be true is really just a world view constructed from your own biases and experiences. These will always run into conflict with other peoples’ biases and experiences. It’s this collision which allows new ideas and improvements to happen.
I used to fear being wrong.
I thought it was a weakness.
Really I was just insecure. There was nothing to fear.
So long as you accept the possibility that you might be wrong, you can only expose yourself to new ideas and improve. And your ‘personal brand’ grows with you.
7. You can change, and it’s okay
Businesses can’t change the same way people can.
If you set up a website selling copy, well that’s it. The website can’t really do anything different. You have to keep selling copy forever. Or sell the business. Or just let the domain expire.
In 10 years, you are going to be a different person. In 20 years, you will probably be unrecognisable. So many things will have forced you to change.
Maybe you’ll have a nervous breakdown.
Maybe you’ll get a divorce.
Maybe you’ll have a near-death experience which alters your perspective in a flash.
A ‘personal brand’ has some flexibility. It can change with you. Not everything you do right now has to be perfect.
You make mistakes. You change your mind and flip-flop from one thing to the other. Don’t let it bother you. Just keep recording it.
You’re a human.
This is your personal brand.