It has become fashionable over the last few years to talk of individual people having their own ‘brand’. What managing this means in practice is taking control of how you are perceived, making sure people can find you (and are sure of what you do) online and communicating well whenever the opportunity arises.
There are plenty of personal branding experts but if you think your own brand needs a bit of TLC then I’d recommend you check out American marketing consultant and academic Dorie Clark - who offers up plenty of easy to follow and implement advice.
Ultimately a personal brand comes down to reputation. It is probably the most important asset we all have. It is how the people that matter see you and think of you. Do people think of you as capable, hard working, talented, creative, a good team player and any number of other ways to describe how we approach our work?
What if something out of your control happens that might affect your brand such as a redundancy? Surely this signals to the world that you weren’t good enough or that you have failed for some reason or other? What do you do now?
This is when having an awareness of who you are, who your audience (customers, potential employers, fans) are, and how you are perceived by them really matters.
This week Brendan Cole one of the dancers on BBC’s top rated Saturday night entertainment show, Strictly Come Dancing, failed to have his contract renewed. After 13 years Brendan had become a fixture and a favourite of viewers of the show so the announcement was somewhat of a surprise.
Where dancers go after they have been put out to pasture by the Strictly production team is not clear. However Cole has taken steps to ensure he is not forgotten. Instead of allowing the BBC to make the announcement he seized control of the situation appearing on ITV’s Lorraine and talking frankly about his upset with the news.
Cole, after 15 series of the show, is what might have once been termed, a ‘housewives favourite’ so his choice of programme to make the announcement was very clever. It ensured he got a nice easy time from warm and friendly Lorraine Kelly but more than that meant he was talking directly to his audience.
He spoke well and with an openness that will have adhered him to many. He also stayed loyal to the programme saying “I’m a big fan, I will still watch” and, despite obviously being emotional his appearance underlined rather than undermined his reputation. It was a far cry from many who take to social media to vent their anger at something, creating headlines of all the wrong sort.
With a personal brand enhanced not diminished, despite his axing from the show, I make Brendan Cole my Communicator of the Week.
Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite.
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