Tom Peters has been writing about Personal Brand longer than just about anyone, so he knows what he is talking about and is worth reading even if his writing S-H-O-U-T-S!! at you. In this book he has heaps of great tips on how to define your personal brand (Brand You) and he summarises them in a list of 50 items at the front of the book. He is a bit alarmist in his thoughts that the white collar workforce is at risk and all current employees need to be defining them as Brand You, but this book is useful reading for those wanting to leave big business and start up on their own. However personal brand is just as important for those working within organizations, which is less well explained in this book. Tom Peters seems to think that all jobs in large organizations are as characterized by Dilbert cartoons. There may be an element of Dilbert within large companies, but this doesn’t stop any individual being remarkable and doing a remarkable job within one of these large organizations. Creating a positive presence and being aware of how others experience you is important in any work environment.
strong l positive l clear
Read Purple Cow if you need reminding why it’s not safe to play it safe. How would your clients describe you? If you define your personal brand – who are you? – are you remarkable?
In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges us to be remarkable, as being safe is risky. He suggests creating a remarkable product for ‘sneezers’ to spread (like an ideavirus) in your niche market. Good products or services get talked about because they are worth talking about (Apple’s Ipad is an obvious example). Busy customers choose winners, so it’s worth being the market leader. Think about your ideal customer – the one you’d choose – and cater your products to that customer.
Godin explains that the age of big TV advertising is dead – we’re back full circle to word of mouth – only today it is faster as we now use social media. ‘The marketing is the product’ – he suggests reinvesting in finding your next remarkable product and put the marketing investment into the product instead of into the media.
If you think of yourself as a product (Tom Peters calls it Brand You), the same is true for you. Do you invest in making you remarkable?
Why were Bill Gates or the Beatles so successful? They were obviously good at what they did – whether that was software programming or playing music – they worked hard, but they were also lucky. They were in the right place at the right time. Malcolm Gladwell explains that your culture, family, friends and even where and when you were born have a profound effect on who you are. It’s not just about how smart you are; an individual cannot be successful in isolation. Gladwell even tells us why some pilots are less likely to crash planes than others.