Lady Gaga : The Ultimate “Personal Brand”
A few weeks ago when I applauded Lady Gaga for creating such a unique and marketable brand, I suggested we all need to pay more attention to our personal brands. But where do you start? If you’ll follow these branding tips (that create an acronym for WALLET) you’ll be more likely to widen your wallet as you increase your marketability in the workplace.
W = Write down what you want people to say about you when you leave a room or meeting. There’s a word on the street about all of us and most women don’t realize that they can decide what they want it to be and make it a reality. Begin by writing down in 25 words or less the way you want to be described. It might be helpful to start by finishing this sentence, “There goes a woman who ___________.”
A = Apply actionable behaviors. It’s not enough to just write down your brand, you have to identify the behaviors in which you must behave if you are to be seen in the way you want. For example, if in your corporate culture being a “team player” is an essential ingredient for success, and you have it in your brand statement, then you have to do things like offer to help others even if it means staying late or volunteer for projects outside the domain of your regular responsibilities. Remember, people don’t know us by our intentions, they know us by our behaviors.
L = Look to the edge. Every workplace is a playing field and the winners play their games at the edge of the field. Games aren’t won by playing smack dab in the middle of the field. What are the most successful women in your organization doing? Add some of these behaviors to your brand.
L = Let others know about it. Like any good brand, marketing is important for recognition. When you receive a compliment for a job well done or you go out of your way, don’t say, ”Oh, it was nothing.” It’s a better marketing technique to say, “You know it wasn’t easy to accomplish but I’m delighted I was able to do it for you and that you appreciate it.” It’s subtle, but makes the point.
E = Elicit feedback. When we’re talking about products, feedback comes in the form of focus groups or customer surveys. When it comes to your brand, it’s called 360 degree feedback. If you don’t know what people are saying about you, you can’t improve on your brand. Ask your HR department to help you with getting the feedback you need to build a strong brand that is seen as adding value.
T = Treat others with abundance. You want your brand to be associated with generosity of spirit. If you’re reading this, most likely you live in a world of plenty as opposed to poverty. I’m not talking about plenty of money, I’m talking about plenty of friends, support, and the things that enable you to live a rich life. Don’t horde what you have — share it. In the workplace it takes the form of sharing information, giving compliments freely, and offering your skills and knowledge to those who need it. Believe me, the more you give away, the more you get in return. It’s just the way the world works.