Personal brand: is yours clear or questionable?

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Whatever you think about his approach or business, DC area entrepreneur Matt Lesko has one thing that's unquestionably clear and strong: his branding.

Lesko appears in metropolitan DC area TV infomercials wearing a question-mark-covered suit. But he also hangs out in those suits on his free time and drives bright-colored cars covered in question marks around town. Everyone notices him and everyone recognizes him. I've seen his car around town many times, and just noticed it in the parking lot of the theater I visited this past week for a concert. At the time of writing this post, I've just seen Lesko's picture on a friend's Facebook wall after he spotted Lesko at a local eatery on a Sunday evening.

Just a couple of days ago, yet another a potential client contacted me to request a speaking engagement to a group of young up-and-coming professionals around the topic of "Building Your Personal Brand," a topic that is in hot demand for the Generation Y professional crowd. It's something most people don't give enough thought, or don't think they need to worry about unless they're starting their own business. 

I'd say, ignore your personal brand at your own peril.

Here's the truth: you already HAVE a personal brand. The question is: Are you aware of it? Do you OWN it? Whether an entrepreneur or an employee, what consistent and clear message are you transmitting about yourself in how you...

  • dress? 
  • groom?
  • carry yourself? 
  • treat others?
  • ask (or don't ask) questions? 
  • perform your work? 

You leave an impression on others whether you like it or not. The question is, is the impression, or brand, you create about yourself one that is intentional (by design), or unintentional (by default)? Does it help or hinder your progress toward your personal and professional goals? What could you do differently to better manage your brand - in person and online?

Food for thought...

Image from Wikipedia

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