Aug 20, 2018
We get it. You aren’t a tube of toothpaste. But you still need a
personal brand. In fact, you already have one whether you realize
it or not. The question is, are you going to take charge of it?
Today, Laurie talks with personal brand expert, Jennifer McClure,
about what a personal brand is, why you need to develop yours, and
how it can help you excel in your professional career.
- Jennifer will be the first to tell you that she doesn’t like
the term, personal brand, but it’s the best one she’s got. You can
also think of it as your reputation, and when you consider it as
your professional reputation, that makes it a lot more important,
doesn’t it? We’re talking about people wanting to work with or for
you, getting clients, being promoted, and more. It’s your career
advancement, plain and simple.
- So how do you develop your personal brand? Think about Oprah
Winfrey. She’s got one of the strongest personal brands in the
world. Her message, live your best life, is known around the world.
But her story hasn’t all been cake and roses; there are some
negative things associated with her brand, and Jennifer explains
how Oprah has dealt with it. She also shares how you can be as
intentional as Oprah when you are defining your own personal
- One big mistake people make is that they try to copy someone
else’s personal brand. As you can imagine, that comes off as
terribly inauthentic. With that said, you CAN take inspiration from
other people. See what they’re doing well, what parts of their
message resonates with you. What can you adopt while still keeping
your uniqueness at the forefront? Laurie and Jennifer discuss, and
Jennifer also reveals who she considered her mentor and sought to
- There are another few traps you’ll need to avoid in developing
your personal brand: don’t overthink it or force it, and make sure
your actions and words line up. A good way to tell is whether
you’re getting the opportunities you want. Do people describe you
the way you intended them to? How do your colleagues introduce you?
Jennifer talks about what to do if your personal brand isn’t
working for you.
- Laurie shares the story of trying to be the buttoned-up,
serious HR lady for the book she’s writing, and how she couldn’t
even finish it until she did what came naturally, and that was to
be herself. Jennifer chimes in with some very insightful thoughts
on Laurie’s personal brand and what makes it so strong.
- The tables are turned, and Laurie asks Jennifer what her own
personal brand is. The response is humbling, and it’s exactly how
YOU should think about how to live with your own brand. More
importantly, how to take control of it. One of the key takeaways is
that sometimes your brand needs to be audience-specific.
- Sometimes we don’t like the reputations we have. It’s a
challenge to change them; once another person has formed their idea
of you, it’s a mental shortcut they’ll use repeatedly because it’s
easier. So how do you go about changing your own personal brand if
you don’t like it? Laurie digs in with a tough question, and
Jennifer steps up to answer it without hesitation, and it’s an
answer you need to hear if the attention you’re getting isn’t the
attention you want.
- Finally, we need to broach the topic of negative feedback that
isn’t deserved. Jennifer shares the story of her first major
keynote speech and the one comment afterward that has haunted her
to this day. Laurie has her own story to share, too, and they talk
about what to do when people try to label you in ways that
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