Have you ever googled your own name? Come on, you don’t have to pretend, we’ve all done it before… but if you haven’t, and building your personal brand is important to you, I recommend you do it. Go ahead, open a new tab and Google search your name, (if it’s been longer than 6 months since you last did it, I recommend doing it again anyway) and once you’ve done it, come back and read the rest of this article.
Welcome back, so I’m now counting on 100% of the people reading this to have googled their name.
How did you find it? Did you like what you saw? Does anything pop up that you’d rather keep hidden?
An article I read in Entrepreneur Magazine suggested that almost 50% of the people surveyed who had previously googled themselves said that the results were not positive.
You have to ask yourself, how are these results impacting your personal brand?
Are they damaging it, strengthening it, or not impacting it at all?
If you don’t like what you see, then you are faced with the challenge of fighting tooth and nail to get anything negative taken down, or, you end up spending even more time creating so much new content, referencing your name, hoping that the bad results are shoved to page 2 and beyond.
Before you know it, you have gone into a downward spiral and you have started to question whether or not this personal branding thing is worth the hassle and you wonder if you should have just kept yourself hidden like you were, before you took the leap of faith into social media in the early 2000s.
What a catastrophe this has turned out to be!
I think back to my time at University where most days were treated like a weekend and I was more concerned with when the next £1 a pint night was going to be (it’s a British thing) than what was being posted about me online. After 4 years of that and suddenly being faced with a potential employer, who may or may not have checked out my Facebook profile, reality hits and you realise you may actually get rejected from this job because your perceived personal brand is that of a party animal as opposed to the hard-working, ethical graduate that you actually are.
I’ve been there, and I came out the other side. So I want to share with you the simple realisation that I had, that made personal branding, which seemed super hard, so much simpler.
You may be expecting me to give you an incredibly complicated strategy or framework here, or some super savvy software solution that erases your data… but it’s not that, not even close.
It’s a simple realisation and an acceptance of the truth that will set the foundations for your personal brand and, ultimately, what others will see you as.
The realisation that I had, and I like to think that it was a gift as well, is that just being who you are and owning it, is enough.
You are who you are, your quirks, your faults, and your desirables are what make you, you. Your past is your past, and your future is your decision.
You need to figure out your superpower. Is it a visual feature, a skill, your commitment to finishing something you begin, the way that you constantly care for people, is it that you speak super fast, or do you bring crazy, high energy and sweat loads because of it?
The truth is, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you are happy with yourself, and you aren’t causing any harm to anyone else. You need to own your brand. If you are unsure as to how to find your superpower, then you can identify it by asking the people that you are close to what comes to mind when they think of you. You can also watch yourself back on some recordings to pick out personality features, quirks, etc. Whatever you discover, use it as part of your USP, your differentiator, your power.
If it’s a negative past that you have and you feel your personal brand is tainted because of that, and you feel like your past is the reason that your life is a mess, get up, shake it off, and turn your mess into your message.
That’s when it hit me. Such a simple and elegant thing. I realised that just being YOU is your personal brand, but the big differentiator is those that be themselves consistently and relentlessly, in spite of what others say. Be proud to be you, be proud to be who you are.
You need to OWN being you because everybody else is already taken!
Director of Sales & Strategy
Jay is a strategic personal branding coach, speaker, author, marketing entrepreneur, and the co-founder of Expert Unleashed. He has an education background in Human Psychology and over a decade of marketing experience in the corporate world at the board level.
His strategies in branding and marketing have delivered impressive results such as taking a stagnant software company from being in debt to turning £3.5m in just over 4 years, as well as launching the marketing strategy for a property training and personal development company enabling them to deliver over £1m in sales in less than 2 years.