How to Define your Personal Brand and get Everything you Want

22 December 2017

Excitement is at fever pitch. You slip into your warm and comfy slippers and thrash your way down the stairs and perch at the foot of the Christmas tree. You wait for the rest of the family to “get their act together"- don’t they know how important this is? You’ve been waiting 364 days for this, your patience, is now losing its patience. Then, to your delight – you hear the shrill whine of a bedroom door opening – finally, they’re awake. The next 20 seconds are unbearable. The words “hurry” and “up” on an infinite loop in your mind. Every creaking stair, a step towards tearing into that ghastly, overpriced Christmas wrapping paper. (My heart’s racing just writing about it.)

Finally the family are all together and your significant other hands you a modestly sized and poorly wrapped parcel. You do everything in your power to contain your excitement and “play it cool”. You start by slowly unpicking the ribbon – the last obstacle before the inaugural reveal. You make small talk as you do it. “Oh thanks”, “You didn’t have to get me anything”, all the while knowing you would eat the wrapping paper if it meant getting to what’s underneath it quicker. Now that sodding ribbon is out of the way, and you’ve proved to everyone that you’ve read the card that you honestly couldn’t care less about. The moment is here. It’s overwhelming. Your excitement and restraint escapes into squeaks and nervous laughter as you maniacally destroy the wrapping paper as a vulture does a carcass. Your family look on, slightly concerned about how primal this whole ordeal has been for you – but also, in anticipation of the beaming smile you’ll wear the moment you lay eyes on your mystery gift. “It’s a”, “it's,”…it’s’ horrible and you hate it.

A wave of sheer dread washes over you. Now you need to think on your feet. You do your very best to mask your disappointment by pulling a face you’ve never pulled before. Somewhere around half way between a forced smile and a resting bitch face. The words “Thank you” slowly slip off your tongue as you stroppily put your gift to one side and plan your revenge. 

While this thinly veiled horror story isn’t the most inspiring account of a Christmas morning – it does go someway to demonstrate the importance of focused and clear communications.  

Projecting your personal brand

A personal brand is defined as “the practice of people marketing themselves as brands”. Essentially, we develop a way of being perceived which communicates our skills, personality and values. Brands do this all the time, ensuring that they are talking to the right audience, about the right things, at the right time. But as individuals this doesn’t seem so straight forward.

Our closest family and friends often assume that we are things that we are not. Sure, your parents might know that you are an Account Manager at a marketing agency – but rather than replying to emails, planning client strategies and owning communications, they think that you’re an accountant, filing P&Ls and forecasting revenue for 2018 and beyond. In short – why does everyone we love have no idea what we actually do? Could it be that your personal brand isn’t strong enough?

To help you never experience an uncomfortable Christmas morning ever again we’ve profiled some of the most relatable personal brand archetypes – and pulled together some tips to help you project the version of yourself that’ll get you everything you’ve ever wanted.

The Creative

What they think I do.

“Draw clipart with pencils on the wall of a cave.”

What I actually do.

“Research creative blogs and find inspiration on and offline to fuse different techniques to create digital compositions.”

What they’ll buy me.

Stationery or colouring pens.

How can I get better presents next year?

Time to talk tech. Design programmes, softwares, products - bore them to tears with serious details about this sort of thing. Make it clear your pencil case is full to the brim and covered in dust. Refer to sketchbooks and paper as retro.

The Mastermind

What they think I do.

“Live and breathe boring spreadsheets.”

What I actually do.

“Live and breathe EXCITING spreadsheets - they basically give you unlimited power.”

What they’ll buy me.

Puzzles, brain teasers, sudoku books.

How can I get better presents next year?

You obviously already have a curated Amazon Wishlist, sorted by price, quality and review score. Spread it far and wide, keeping track of who opens the emails, who clicks and who replies.

The Jester

What they think I do.

Pre-plan jokes at home using inspiration from whatever comedian was on BBC 2 late last night and cards against humanity.

What I actually do.

Half the time I don’t even realise I’ve made a joke. I’m just daydreaming in my own little self-deprecating world, probably dribbling a bit.

What they’ll buy me

Something that THEY think is funny.

How can I get better presents next year?

Do what you’re best at - make jokes. Received a dodgy book on how to write jokes? Talk about the fact you don’t like being restricted or told what to do - you’re a gazelle running free in a field of funniness, you don’t need a book to tell you what to do. You need a fancy notepad to write down all your ideas, or a fancy pen to write them all down with.

The Connoisseur

What they think I do.

They find out I like craft beer, and suddenly I’m an alcoholic.

What I actually do.

Alright, fine, I like a drink… but only if it’s a hazy IPA from a micro-brewery you have never heard of.

What they’ll buy me.

Another cookbook. Or whatever Marks & Spencers is listing as craft beer. Probably also socks.

How can I get better presents next year?

Talk at length about how much you hate that craft beer is trendy now and that places like Marks and Spencers have the audacity to pretend to understand. Slip your favourite brewers into conversation whenever possible.

If you want help strengthening your personal brand (or of course your business’s brand) get in touch with Bozboz.

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