Personal branding is projected to be the big craze this year. Personal branding will supposedly be the best way for you to secure a job in your industry, build your network, and further your career. To be honest, I must agree with all of these personal branding “experts,” but one thing really bothers me.
Human psychology truly fascinates me and it is amazing how easily the human mind can be manipulated and influenced.
If you constantly introduce yourself as a personal branding expert and tell everyone that personal branding is your expertise, sooner or later, you’re going to establish yourself as the personal branding expert, just because you’ve been saying it. I find that truly fascinating!
It doesn’t matter if my material is good or bad; it doesn’t matter if the videos I make online make me look like a complete ass; if I keep repeating that I am an expert in a subject, then people will begin to believe it. People will begin to introduce me as, “This is Jun. He’s a personal branding expert.”
Don’t believe me? My good friend conducted an experiment at his office and in 6 months, he was being introduced as, “This is Derek. He writes like Hemingway and is amazing at excel.” How was he able to accomplish this feat in just 6 months?
All he did was keep introducing himself as “Derek, the excel ninja who writes like Hemingway.” He just kept repeating that to everyone. Eventually, everyone was just brainwashed to think that Derek was amazing at excel and writes extraordinarily well. To Derek’s credit, the guy is a very good writer; just take a look at his series Success Factors. But the point is that even a mediocre writer can just keep repeating to everyone that his expertise is writing and eventually people will start to believe it.
So what? Why should I even care?
The simple knowledge that the human brain tends to grasp onto and believe what it is told completely changes the game. If you understand this, then you can use all of the tools given to you to brand yourself as an expert in an easy and efficient manner.
This is the strategy to quickly brand yourself as whatever you like in as little as 6 months:
Use the About Me in all social media networks strategically
In the About Me section, write something along the lines of, “I am an expert in [insert expertise here].” Do this for every social network out there: Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Stumble, Mixx, and the list goes on. Now every time someone looks up your profile on one of these networks, they’ll quickly be reminded that you are an expert in a certain field.
Develop a blog specific to your brand
Start writing a blog about the topic that you want to be known for. If you want your personal brand to be “The expert in Japanese Ancient Architecture,” then start writing a blog about that topic. Furthermore, make sure the url is explicitly related to that topic. So in this case, your url would be JapaneseArchitecture.com/blog or something along those lines become I’m sure that url is taken.
The beauty is that you don’t even have to be an excellent writer. Just keep pushing content so that people are constantly reminded about your expertise.
Get personal branding business cards
I personally think this is super dorky, but if you want a cheesy way to further brand yourself as an expert in a certain topic, then get business cards with your face on them that say you’re an expert in your field. So now when you introduce yourself to people, they’ll have a souvenir with your face on it that keeps repeating what your expertise is. They won’t be able to resist remembering you as “that guy who is an expert in [X].”
Work on your sticky introduction tagline
This is the one that seals the deal. My friend introduced himself as an “Excel ninja who write like Hemingway.” I love ninjas and Hemingway, so that would definitely stick in my head. That’s such a strange juxtaposition that it just sticks!
So what is your personal tagline going to be?
“Hi my name is Jun Loayza and I make films like Steven Spielberg and take photographs of nude models.” There is no way that you would ever forget that. Then I hand out my personal branding business cards that has a picture of my face with the tagline, “I make films like Steven Spielberg and take photographs of nude models.” This further solidifies my personal brand.
Now when the person gets home, I follow up with him and shoot him an email with my blog and twitter links. When he looks at my blog and twitter, he realizes that my writing and tweets are centered around film-making and photography.
I promise you, the next time this person thinks about shooting a film or is in need of some photography, my name is going to pop into his head.
The Viral Loop
As you keep branding yourself in this way, more and more people are going to know about you as the expert in your field. Use HARO to find people writing stories about your expertise and ask them to interview you or write a piece about you. As people start writing about you, you can leverage each new publication to get on bigger and bigger ones.
I want to try an expirement like the one my firend Derek did and document it on video. The first thing I need to do is establish my area of expertise. Once I got that, the expirement shall begin!