By Jon Michail
A personal brand doesn’t have to be boring or simple and fit in with the flock, where your personality is a clone of whatever archetype you’re perceived as being. Build a creative disruptive brand, a brand with vibrancy, with a sense of modernity, that throws a spanner in the wheel of normality.
When you hear the word disruptive you probably think of a destructive little kid in school ruining reading time for everyone, and whilst it does have this meaning in one of it’s definitions, in the other it means growth seeking, boarder breaking, trail blazing innovation.
It’s important to see your personal brand as a magnate for new opportunities — all being attracted to a glowing flare that separates you from the pack.
Here are 10 ways to build, capitalise, and utilise a creative disruptive personal brand:
1. Challenge the status quo
It’s important to have the courage to disrupt existing paradigms, and encourage shifts in the established norms. If the current state of affairs are not allowing for change where it’s necessary, the situation will remain stagnant, infertile of new opportunities and areas of growth, and will ultimately lead to a depreciation of the entire structure.
Forcing it to change is crucial, and the fear of stepping on too many toes must be excused in favour of doing what’s best. Be cautious, considerate, and understanding of others, but don’t let stubbornness get in the way of prosperity.
Develop the courage to speak truth to power.
2. Be accountable
Too often are leaders and heads in organisations quick to shield the blame from being placed upon them, and would rather direct the attention to someone or something else in order to save themselves from discourse. This is an incredibly destructive defence mechanism and is born out of the parasitic idea that failure is a plague of which to avoid at all costs.
Dare to fail and take the responsibility for mistakes you have made is a valuable quality to anybody wishing to build a personal brand, as it shows you are not only responsible but also accountable and aren’t willing to let others fall for your mistakes.
3. Have authenticity
Being transparent, and letting others into your world is another way of saying you don’t have anything to hide, and that you revel at the idea of others getting to know who you are.
The old procedure was to remain impenetrable, with a poker face forever hiding what you truly feel (this may not work for some ‘politicians’ it rarely works in building relationships). This disconnects you from your team as well as your audience, and leads to a situation where people may perceive you as fronting an obvious facade.
4. Content plan
Many CEO’s develop a a plan of attack, and a compilation of information regarding their goals and future initiatives. They use such tools as vlogging, blogging, podcasting, and ebooks to deliver the message of their intentions to their audience, where they can engage more directly with people. The more powerful the visual message the more memorable.
Have a plan and show it.
5. Use LinkedIn
The use of LinkedIn as a tool to showcase ones personal brand is not something reserved for a small percentage of people, yet in all the abundance of profiles only some take the opportunity to build theirs with the notion of being disruptive in mind. Most see it as a device only ever breezed over by viewers, and never looked at in depth. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as more and more people look to LinkedIn as their main source of information about other professionals.
Use this opportunity to be disruptive, and build your page with this in mind.
6. Have fun in the process
It’s crucial to never forget to have fun, people say you only live once. Well I’ve come to believe that actually only die once and live many times. Living to work as opposed to working to live is the most overated propaganda ever presented to humanity. Enjoying what you’re doing is perhaps the most important quality to have, as without enjoyment you’re simply grinding along, which can seep into your work.
Sticks in the mud are never able to see the grass that lay right outside the pool — enjoyment can lead you to areas of prosperity that would otherwise not be afforded to you.
7. Take calculated risks
Calculated risk taking is what separates those vibrant, growth seeking CEO’s with those who wish to bunker down and hope all goes well — never seeing the fruits of risk taking show their bright and rewarding heads.
Do not simply take risks for the sake of doing so, you aren’t a dare devil on a quest for adrenaline thrills; you need to be calculated in your risks, plan them, and be meticulous in what you go for.
8. Don’t listen to “it can’t be done”
Don’t pay attention to those who say something can’t be done. Naysayers will forever be stuck in a position of only doing those things that are perceivably possible, never looking outside the box and seeking out new opportunities.
Be vigilant, and listen only to what you say you want to do. Listen to yourself.
9. Always seek to improve your work
Be constantly on the look out for new ways to create better products and services; enhance the ones you already provide, making them better, faster, and more scalable.
10. Learn how to pivot
Pivoting is a concept in business where the direction of the business, or one of it’s products or services, is changed in the direction best suited for it as a result of new found information gathered by market research.
If at any point you sense a new direction must be taken in order for your personal brand to hit a sweet spot, go for it, and realise that the market knows best in situations regarding human tastes and desires.
Go out there and develop your disruptive tendencies. Nothing great ever happens in life if you rest in your comfort zone, same goes with your personal brand.
In a disruptive world, at least your personal brand is still one thing you are fully in control of to make a sustainable difference – you have much to gain.
Jon Michail is Group CEO of Image Group International, Australasia’s No 1 image coach. Image Group International supports executives and entrepreneurs to become iconic and monetised leadership brands.