This post is part of a seminar series on Personal Brand Design. Scroll to the bottom to listen to the seminar interview.
Some people in our business gravitate to the idea of personal branding because it seems like a chance to position themselves as a star in their field.
Other are more like me. We shy away from building our own brand because it feels like shameless self-promotion. We’d rather focus on doing great work and not worry about how our colleagues in the entertainment industry see us.
Here’s a surprising truth that will challenge your view of personal branding, no matter which of the two camps you sit in. If you want your professional reputation to earn you the great gigs and higher salary that you deserve, your brand must be focused on how you serve other people.
That’s right – a strong brand is about the impact you have on others, not about how talented and great you are.
Be Like A Good Doctor – Selfless
Follow me on this. Which doctor do you hire – the one who spends her first consultation with you babbling about her list of degrees and how special of a specialist she is…
Or do you hire the helpful doctor who uses her hour with you to diagnose your problem and explain how she’s going to make you feel better?
The second doctor gets your business, of course. And not only that, but you’re more likely to spread the word about the nice doctor who listened to your problems, helped ease your pain, and made you feel like royalty in her office.
Here’s the cool part. There’s no need for doctor #2 to be a self-promoter or master networker. The people she impacts will do it for her. Now, that’s a strong personal brand.
How To Be An Internet Celebrity In 1 Step
I’m not going to throw this branding “theory” out there and leave you hanging.
This week I’m continuing Career Green Light’s online seminar about personal branding by talking to someone with much to share when it comes to serving others.
Weeks ago I hopped on the phone with Rafi Kam of the Internets Celebrities.
The I.C.’s are a trio of very funny, viral video wizards. For years now I’ve been impressed with not just how they’re able to get their videos to spread through the web, but also how after having an early success doing a purely entertaining video, they’ve switched to stuff that has more civic value.
Check out the difference. Here’s their original video, Ghetto Big Mac:
And here’s a more recent vid about the evils of check cashing places:
On the call with Rafi, I go into :
- why they made the switch in focus with their videos
- cool opportunities that came from their brand videos (if you want to be invited to Sundance or be featured in the NY Times, this is for you)
- how the trio choose projects and how they became Internet celebrities through YouTube (despite two of them knowing almost nothing about producing videos)