‘Building your personal brand’ from Adobe MAX 2017

A replay of my sold out session from Adobe MAX 2017 that asked can you tell people why you are different and better than every other creative out there? This session will highlight the power, importance, and difficulties of creating your own personal brand, see why building your brand is critical for finding the perfect new job, standing out in your current job, or getting respect in the industry.

Listen now:

Why do you need to build your brand?

Your brand is the single most important thing you need to be successful. I’m amazed at how little time people spend on it. Most brands are nothing but generic business-speak and overused clichés that say nothing about the person. Having a brand will let you be successful in your current job and your next job.

Building your brand does 5 things

1: Helps you to clarify why you are different.
Your personal brand is what separates you from everyone else in the world.

2: Builds your self-awareness.
The most successful creatives have a deep self-awareness. They understand their creative process, leadership style and strengths.

3: Gets you recognition and validation.
Having a brand put you and your work out in to the world.

4: Gives you power over your career.
We all want to find the best job that lets us earn good money and do our best work. Most companies don’t understand or properly value a creatives contributions.

5: Helps you walk the line.
Your current company wants a team player. Your next company wants to hire a unique and strong individual.

Understanding your brand

Most people have no idea what their brand stands for. Where do you start when you want to build your brand? Take a step back and look at your brand like any other client. This is difficult because you are your biggest blind spot. Your brand should be an authentic expression of your identity, personality, and character.

Where do you start?

Here are 2 exercises to start building the expression of your brand vision.

1: Archetypes

This technique grounds your vision in iconic personas that are embedded in our subconscious. I have 17 archetypes.

Download archetype cards here

How do you choose your archetype?

2: I am…

This technique grounds your vision in your passions and ideal traits.

Determine the parts of your life and career that have been rewarding. Ask yourself why they have been rewarding. Start to write “I am” statements. They should capture who you are and what matters to you.

If you find writing whole sentences too hard, then start by choosing 3 words that define you.

In either case, take some time to think about and refine them.

Get outside perspectives

Have other people do the exercise to understand how the world sees you.

What about copying people you admire?

Look at the traits that have made them successful – not their career steps.

Crafting your brand

Once you understand your brand vision, you need to craft it into a strong story. You need to make it your own.

1: Archetypes

Personalize your archetype with your unique strengths and traits.

2: I am…

‘I am’ statement will already be more personal. Make them clear, simple and something people can connect with.

Either technique needs tangible proof points to support your brand. And it has to be built on your honest self to be authentic and impactful. There are no magic bullets or secrets. This work is all up to you.

Evaluation and evolution

This isn’t a one and done proposition. You are going to evolve, so your brand has to evolve with you over time. Don’t get discouraged by negative or ambivalent reactions. Growing and perfecting a brand takes time.

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