The Art of Personal Branding: Painting your Masterpiece
We are all Painting our Masterpiece whether we consciously know it or not. It is time to pay attention to the elements of the greatest work you or I will ever create. That work is to define ourselves and create our own vision for our life.
This past week I had the honor of sharing my thoughts on Personal Branding for the Young Affiliates of the Mint Museum. This is an amazing group of up and coming Young Professionals that are patrons of the local Museum.
The phrase “Personal Branding” has become somewhat of a catch phrase and I wanted to take the chance to demystify the concept using the analogy of an Artist. As with anything I do, I began with research. As Mark Twain would say: “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as you please.”
My research began by reaching out to the artist community. One such artist told me that “An Artist IS a brand!” It hit me that he was absolutely correct. This is another way of saying “You are a brand.” We are all a very personal brand. The key is to figure out what that is and how to use it effectively.
I reached out to an Artist community and asked them to consider that statement and share the most important aspects of creating their brand. The results were revealing.
- Knowing Yourself
- Being Open About Yourself
- Being an Artist is “having your work connect and intersect with the people that need and want it.” Seth Godin – The Icarus Deception
The last item was very timely in that Seth Godin just released his latest masterpiece in late December – The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? An excerpt from the book spells out exactly what we are trying to accomplish when we create and live our personal brand.
“Oscar Wilde wrote that art is “new, complex, and vital.” Art isn’t something that’s made by artists. Artists are people who make Art. Art is not a gene or a specific talent. Art is an attitude, culturally driven and available to anyone who chooses to adopt it. Art isn’t something sold in a gallery or performed on a stage. Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another.”
How do I identify my unique work and share it with others in an authentic, open and relevant way? This is what the research shows.
- Know who you are. Can you confidently share with others your strengths and skills? How are you hardwired and how does it show up?
- Live Authentically. Authenticity is what attracts others and creates a sense of confidence and empowerment for yourself and others.
However, just as Seth Godin writes in The Icarus Deception, we can get ourselves in trouble either by flying too close to the sun – or too close to the water. Either way we can damage our brand and cause a deathly ending. This is not something you can “fake it till you make it.” Take the time to get it right and live it.
Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0, defines Personal Branding as:
“Personal branding describes the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and standout from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition, whether professional or personal, and then leverage it across platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal. In this way, individuals can enhance their recognition as experts in their field, establish reputation and credibility advance their careers, and build self-confidence.”
The key concept in his definition is consistency, authenticity and self-confidence.
It is time for all of us to start painting our masterpiece with confidence and authenticity. This is not easy work. Life work never is easy. However, it is the most important thing you will do to start finding your way to the Peak. This leads to true happiness, joy and a more meaningful life.
Be Authentic and Live from a point of strength.
Personal Branding is about being an Artist.
You are creating your masterpiece.
Share it with the world.
Your painting is your gift.
Use it to the fullest capacity