The 5 B's of Personal Branding

Here's a simple list that you didn't ask for, but that I'm sharing anyway.

Speaking from the point of view of a person that has been called a brand (to her face, even) and not from the point of view of a learned (pronounced lern-ed) doctorish type smart person of marketing, I have listed 5 ways that I have personally made a name for myself in my teeny tiny corner of this speck of space over here on the interwebs. 

1) BE Yourself.

Sounds simple, but it isn't always. Sometimes, people get trapped by what they think they "should" be and craft an on-line identity or persona that isn't really who they are in real life (IRL). They don't start out trying to deceive the world, but eventually, they don't feel free to be themselves, which leads to a larger problem. By not being yourself, you'll attract people that you might not want to work with. Worse yet, if you really take off, you're trapped without doing some major rebranding.

Save yourself the redesign. Be yourself now.

2) BE Honest.

I get into a lot of trouble over this one, but it's one I stand by. I may not gain any favor with some people, but people know who I am and what I think. If they want to work with me, cool. If not, well, I might cry... but I'll be okay. I understand I'm not for everyone. Neither are you. Stop trying. Let it go. Not everyone is going to like you. That's good. Who wants to be Vanilla?

3) BE Passionate.

If you love it, LOVE it. If it's "meh"... walk away. Whatever projects are presented to you, or maybe it's a job opportunity, or a partnership with a major brand... it should resonate with you. It should not just be something that pays the bills. Want something that pays the bills? Go pour coffee somewhere. Nothing wrong with that. But whatever it is you are doing to build your brand, do it passionately.

4) BE There.

Show up. To parties. To conferences. To meetings. To coffee talks. Do what you need to do to be around others. That's not only where people really get to know the real you, it's also where random opportunities happen. And they happen when you are just being yourself. Just don't get so caught up in the events that you lose touch of the real people in your lives. And if the parties and conferences and meetings start to look an awful lot like the ones before, find new places to spread your you-ness.

5) BE Unforgettable.

My oldest daughter worked at an ice cream shop in high school. One day, she let us in on a little ice cream shop secret. All the flavors used my favorite flavor as a base. So there was always something I liked about each of the flavors because they all tasted the same. Still, it was the plain old original that I loved. In branding, when someone or something original stands out, the tendency of the average person or marketer is to repeat what works but with a little twist on it. The thing is, it might be good, but it's not going to stand out or be unforgettable. What is something that you can claim as your own? Do that.