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Your Personal Brand

A brand communicates three critical things: ownership, quality, and inspiration.

The purpose of creating a brand is to make people associate with your product and/or... with you. Therefore, creating a brand is very personal. The brand tells your customers who you are beyond your products, services, and marketing campaigns. There is a more meaningful purpose to your business than just making money. Identifying a brand's character or persona is essential. There is no point in trying to create a persona based on what you wish to be! You need to determine and emphasize the most relevant aspects of your persona so that others can relate and identify with you. In order to help with this process, I would like to introduce you to a multidimensional character and use actors as an example.

It is common for an actor to share similar characteristics in all the roles he plays. Some actors are asholes, while others make us laugh. There is no way that an actor who usually portrays a nice character can suddenly change into a cold-blooded killer. A character is an actor's brand. This is their persona.

Take a look at the character of Sherlock Holmes. His intelligence is astonishing, but he is socially awkward... at the same time, he is also a drug addict. Solving cases is his passion, and he is excellent at it. His character was portrayed by Robert Downy, Jr., and Downy was awarded a Golden Globe for his performance. However, did that role really challenge him, even though he performed it flawlessly?

The insight Robert shows in his interviews speaks volumes about his intelligence. The poor guy does seem a bit awkward tho, and social media made a fortune sharing how he struggled with addiction. Consequently, someone like him is bullied into a depressive state, and addiction becomes a serious problem. But that's what media does, someone who profits from other people's misery doesn't get the complexity of the situation. The struggle of a sensitive person can only be understood by another sensitive person. A sort of artist-to-artist exchange. In this way, they are able to share a common receptivity, an attribute that is seldom exhibited in modern society, but perhaps that is a discussion for another day.

Holmes and Downey are both examples of multidimensional characters. The characters have both positive and negative aspects to which they don't necessarily want to expose the audience. Hence, they become fascinated by the subject matter. In other words, heroism requires strength, but without anything else, an observer will still find him boring.

The inner conflict of multiple-dimensional characters manifests itself as two opposing desires that are incompatible and, hence, create a conflict. That conflict is what people are interested in.

Because of this, if you attempt to hide even your less-than-positive attributes from others, they will be still visible, and people will perceive you either as a fraud or boring when you try to portray yourself as a matchless individual. However, if you reveal your flaw, others will be able to connect with you, since they will be able to identify with you and find their own story to relate to you.

So once you figure out your own elements of your persona, just make sure that you highlight them every time you have a conversation with someone or create a social media post because you want others to be able to connect with you.

Humans are multidimensional by nature, but make sure that those dimensions are defined, otherwise, it will be difficult for people to follow you because they will get confused.

First, outline all the things that you, your friends, family, and coworkers say are good about you. Like being honest, really smart, or extremely intuitive. These are all positive attributes about you. 
Outline the negative attributes about you as well. As an example, you might be quite harsh, or perhaps you're more of a hermit who is comfortable in his own world and prefers to be left alone. When you attend a party, you may feel out of your element, which makes people uncomfortable around you. Outline both the Positives and the Negatives. After you have compiled the list, you can then segment items that are similar to one another. For instance, if you are humorous or playful, please select playful. Take all the words and group them together so there are fewer items on your lists and then locate the polar opposites. 

Perhaps you have a brilliant mind but are socially awkward. It seems counter-intuitive because smart people should be able to integrate socially as well. If someone is not, that creates polarity in your audience due to their polar personalities. Identifying with you is easier if your polarity is bigger. These things can be hard to achieve, so ask someone to help you not only to build a brand... but discover your own core persona. It will help you understand a lot of decisions you have made in life.

I'm going to circle all the way back for people to understand your brand.

  • Know why you need a persona

  • Find positive and negative elements of your persona.

  • Be able to find the polarities in your character.

Keep an open mind and have fun building your personal brand.

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