I have a couple of real passions in my life; sport and business.
My love of sport has been ingrained in me since I was a little lad, and my interest for business has evolved as I have matured. As you can imagine, the prospect of viewing the highest-grossing sporting event in history this weekend has filled me with much excitement.
Some will love boxing, and some will hate boxing. Others will sit on the fence. But what cannot be denied is that Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao is big business. $150m to Mayweather and $100m to Pacquiao guaranteed are massive sums of money and shows that this has gone wider than simply a sporting event.
This got me thinking about the power of the personal brand. There is no doubt that companies around the world possess strong brand identities. Nike, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft all massive brands that are immediately identifiable. But what of an individual’s brand, and how can people in business promote their own individual brand?
Lets take Floyd Mayweather as the example here. Those in boxing have no doubt he is one of the greatest boxers of all time, but if we look at him from a business and brand perspective, Floyd has come from humble beginnings from Grand Rapids in the States to transcend boxing and cross over into business. His persona, his brand name, ‘Money Mayweather’ is brash, but it brings him wealth like no other boxer. His talent is undeniable but it is his brand and how he promotes himself that pulls in the big bucks. He is controversial, but he is a self promoter – he doesn’t rely on others building his brand, he does it himself. It is his approach to life and his persona that sells the tickets, has the kids buying from his clothing line and makes him the most watched sports star on the planet. But he is also a very astute businessman – you don’t earn the sums of money he has without being a smart negotiator and know how to get the maximum out of every business opportunity.
So how can people in business develop their own personal brand? How can they use themselves to maximise their career and business opportunities?
The old adage states that ‘people buy from people’ and thus people will either instantly like or dislike someone, make their decision based on the first 5–10 second interaction with that person. What if though the personal brand of the individual could pre-empt that meeting? What if you could promote yourself in a way to maximise the potential of that meeting or job interview before you even get to see the other person?
In the age of social media, your Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook profiles will likely all be a port of call prior to meeting someone. A look at an individuals background, where they have come from, what do they like and how do they interact on social media can create a perception prior to the meeting the person face-to-face.
My advice to those wanting to maximise their personal brand would be to make the most of a social media presence, network professionally, humbly and just be yourself.
If you can be yourself and be humble, people will warm to that more than someone trying to fit into a perceived brand or persona.