I will start by saying that I really loved this book. It is a really insightful book on what it means to build a personal brand. Practical,no fluff and packed with a lot of tools that anyone can use in building a strong and effective personal brand. I loved the fact that the author approached branding not just from a business/entrepreneurial perspective. The book outlined ideas anyone can apply to connecting with a diverse audience at work or in life. It was a book that did not just roll out a plethora of cliches but gave really helpful ideas and tools to actually begin the process. There was an activity at the end of every chapter and if you did every activity as you read along, you would have a workable plan by the time you got the end of the book.
I also loved how how the author used her story and those of others in crafting what it entails to be a personal brand that is both loved and reviled. She used examples of brands or people that we all know and those less well known .I have always been wary of the word ‘building a brand’ as it always felt so phoney or disingenuous. This book helped me see past that reticence as the author explains that a personal brand is less about ‘building a persona’ but more about a ‘emotional connection with a target audience’. In some ways we all have a target audience.Whether it’s a tribe of people who need your business or service, getting an organisation to see the value you can add to the organisation, or getting funding for your non profit we all have an audience that we need to appeal to and as such a brand that they can relate to.
Books in this genre tend to either over complicate the subject matter by using technical jargon or relying too much on anecdotes with little substance but this book manages to do both without going to the extremes. The author breaks down the process of building a personal brand into eight pillars which were;
Sections 1,2,3,& 8 were mostly aimed at the mindset and reasons why you want to build a personal brand.Sections 4,5,6 go into a lot of branding frameworks and give you the tools required to build a brand both at a personal and organisational level.
There were so many quotes I loved but I particularly resonated with this quote from the section called –Own your truth.
Try to see your personal brand success as a contribution to making others happy.Or try to see how what you do adds value to someone else or something else. We have all been put here for a reason and it’s not just to make money or have a nice house or pay our bills on time or create extreme wealth. Yes those things are lovely and in some cases very necessary but we are here for so much more than that. Your talents,your gifts,character personality are in you for more than just you. Believe it or not you have been uniquely designed to help solve a unique problem in the world.You haven’t been created just for you,you have been created for others to enjoy what you bring. It might sound super corny but the world actually needs what you have. Your world and those in your world really need what you have,to show up without apology.The darkness all around us needs your unique light. When you switch on your torch,your light creates a way for others to see. Yes it might well be scary knowing that there are others dependent on your win but it also very rewarding when it happens.”Page 21
In the section called –Branding is like dating she states that “an effective personal brand is an authentic expression of the individual and a personification of who they really are”. Another quote I loved in this section was;
Your why is is therefore the most important part of building an effective personal brand. Without knowing your ‘why’ you are left with nothing more than your capabilities and skills. There are too many people that share the same capabilities and skills as you,so it’s the who you are,not the what you are that matters.Page 77
I also particularly loved the 12 brand archetypes she described in the section called – Your difference is your strength.The 12 brand archetypes defined in the book are;
1.The Sage 2.The Innocent 3. The Explorer 4. The Ruler 5. The Creator 6. The Caregiver 7.The Magician 8.The Hero 9.The Rebel 10.The Lover 11. The Jester 12. The Regular guy or girl
Based on the definitions and the work at the end of the chapter I ended up defining myself as a cross between 1,3,5 and 12.(a lot I know 😀). If you end up buying or reading the book this is one activity you should definitely not miss out on.
You can probably tell that this a book I really enjoyed and it is one that I will definitely be going back to again and again.
I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for some tips and techniques on building an effective brand. Asides from the branding tips there are also lessons that can be learned from the author’s story and interviews by other business leaders.
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As usual thank you for reading and hope you have a great weekend.