Brand Yourself like a Celebrity: 5 Things to Make Your Personal Brand Rock

by | Jul 19, 2015 | Personal Brand

Brand Yourself Like Adam Levine “Research has demonstrated that a shocking percentage of viewers remember your commercial, but forget the name of your product. All too often they attribute your commercial to a competing brand.” ~ David Ogilvy in Ogilvy on Advertising

How many times do you forget someone’s name right after they’ve said it? You might remember the context of how you met them. You might even remember the colour of the shirt they were wearing, but their name isn’t there.

A person’s name is one of the most influential words you can use when speaking with them, so finding a way to remember people’s names is a good habit to get into. For now, let’s focus on the fact that the people you’re meeting will forget your name if you haven’t considered how you’re going to be remembered.

What makes you special? What feelings do people associate with you? What makes them think of you?

At a business mastermind meeting recently, each person in the group was asked to say one word they think of when they look at me. I was pretty happy to hear the words because they are all things I want associated with my brand, like:

  • Expert
  • Effective
  • Confident
  • Sincere
  • Elegant
  • Genuine
  • Supportive
  • Successful.

So, what are the eight to ten words you’d want associated with YOUR brand?

That’s not a rhetorical question. Stop here. Get out your pen and paper and write them down.

Now, ask the next 10 – 20 people you are speaking with what ONE word they would associate with you and your brand?

Do they match?

You are a brand.

You can take time to develop a meaningful and memorable one, or you can take the chance that you naturally are having a good impact.

Few people will have a strong impact without an effort.

The celebrities with strong brands have worked hard to create their brand. Oprah, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, the Kardashian’s, Donald Trump and Adam Levine all have strong brands, but it’s not an accident.

It’s harder to do than it sounds. Branding makes you think of a logo, colours and maybe a catchy slogan. That’s what they taught me to think of in Business School.

That can be part of it, but I’m not really talking about traditional corporate branding.

Your personal brand is who you are and how you are perceived.

This is how you dress, how you speak, what you speak about, who you hang around with, and what verbal and non verbal messages you send online and offline.

You probably won’t have it perfectly figured out when you first start putting it out there with intent. As you listen to what people say and what they remember, you’ll find what is connecting and what isn’t. It’s a process.

Be, Do, Have

It’s the reverse to how most of us approach life. Most of us approach our goals with the thinking that if we have x, we will do y and be z. For example, I thought when I have an MBA I could do a job where I made six figures and then I would be successful, have freedom and feel financially secure.

In real estate I saw this all the time.

Most people thought that if they had 17 properties they would be able to do what they wanted and they would finally be free.

It doesn’t work that way. In fact, that line of thinking often takes you in the entirely wrong direction to where you really want to be. In my case, one day I woke up with a career I never actually wanted.

I mentioned Keith Cunningham when I talked about how to free your mind and life from mediocrity. This is another principle I learned from him. He recommends you first figure out who you want to be.

He said “who you be dictates what you do and what you do dictates what you’ll have”.

Most of us resist who we really are. This causes everything in our lives to get really messed up. I was a great employee because I am hard working, I like to please people, I can solve problems and when I say I am going to do something, I do it.

Just because I’m a great employee doesn’t mean I was meant to work for someone else.

I’m very independent. I like adventure, challenge, freedom and room to create.

If I had figured out who I wanted to be (not what I thought I should do or what I thought I needed to have first) I never would have pursued an MBA. I would have found a way to turn my love for writing into a business and career for myself much sooner than I did.

Consider carefully who you are. That’s where you begin when you build your brand.

Where a lot of people fall down in branding is creating a fake brand. They architect something that they think will sell. And, it might, for a period of time. But, a great brand isn’t fake. A great brand is deeply rooted in who you are at the core. The smart people who create strong brands that last highlight and feature certain aspects of themselves … the parts that will have a strong connection, a positive impact and a big influence over the folks they want to reach.

What are the elements of your own personal brand you should be considering?

1.     Your values

What do you stand for? What can people expect from you?

Taylor Swifts support of the underdog and appreciation for her fans is very deeply rooted in her brand.

She doesn’t tell you how she values these things – she shows it by doing amazing things to recognize her fans and stand up to big companies like Apple for the small artists who can’t.

Your values come through in how you do things. I think it was also Keith Cunningham that said “It’s never what you do, it’s how you do it.”

Your values aren’t things you need to tell people about. They will know.

Ask yourself:

·      What values are important to you?

·      What values do you want associated with you and your brand?

·      Are you DOING the things you need to do so people associate those values with you and your brand?

2.    Your appearance

The Taylor Switft BrandPeople who are perceived to be attractive make more money, are more well liked and are even seen to be more trustworthy. In one study titled The Influence of Physical Attractiveness and Gender on Ultimatum Game Decisions they concluded that the more attractive someone was, the higher the offer they received in a negotiation – even if they did not ask for more!


There’s massive value in looking your best! And, when you consider the well branded celebrities I outlined at the start, you’ll note that you rarely see any photos of them where they aren’t looking good. Their brand includes their own style that makes them shine and look their best.

Speaking with a client who wanted to raise money for his real estate portfolio he commented that people didn’t seem to take him seriously. When I asked him what he was wearing when he was meeting with the people who he felt weren’t taking him seriously, he said “I’m wearing what I always wear at work – jeans, and a golf shirt.”

I asked “What’s on your feet?”

He was wearing running shoes.

I said, “Is that what the successful investor in you wears?”

The answer was no. He immediately stopped wearing running shoes and jeans and started having more interesting conversations.

I’d never advocate you wear a suit if it feels like a monkey suit to you. You have to wear what makes you feel awesome and confident. Again, your brand is not about being fake. But, you have your own style. A style where you look good and feel good. Chances are you’re not feeling that way in track pants and white runners. And, you probably don’t feel all that awesome if you’re not on top of your hygiene either.

3.     What you talk about

To create a connection you’ll want to share some personal details but you shouldn’t share randomly. You want a focused and clear brand. You want people to think of you when they think of certain things and if you’ve talked about everything from space travel to Italy to gardening, and everything in between, your brand will be too diluted. The best things to share are those things you care about the most.

You want to connect with your ideal person – and chances are your ideal person also has a few things in common with you so these personal details will create a much better relationship. If you subscribe to my Broad Thoughts newsletter (if you don’t, here’s the link so you can make sure you’re catching the awesome articles, videos and insider secrets I only share with my subscribers) you probably already know that I share like my love of Crossfit/fitness, Poker, and my family.  With my husband building his career in film and tv as an actor, we do spend quite a bit of time watching different TV shows, so I will speak about that sometimes too.

I share these interests because I have lessons or stories from those areas that I can share that will make a point that relates back to everyone  – whether you even know what Crossfit is, or not. These are also things I truly love and are important to me. If you’re into one of those things we’ll probably get along well.

You may also choose to share a challenge you have; one that your audience will relate to. Oprah has struggled with her weight very openly. This is a strong connection point to the people who follow her.

4.    What Makes You Unique (Where is Your Expertise)

The big mistake to avoid here is trying to be everything to everyone.

I see realtors make this mistake all the time. They will have six cities they say they are ‘expert’ in.

Think about the single thing you want to be known for. It doesn’t mean nobody will work with you for other things. It just means you’ll be known for something!

Pick a niche. Become well known in that niche and expand from there.

5.     How you deliver your message.

OprahHow will people find out about you and connect with you? You probably aren’t starting out with your own talk show or a spot on a reality tv show that immediately gives you an audience. Where will people find you and connect with you?

Marie Forleo is known for her videos. John Lee Dumas is known for a podcast. Tim Ferriss uses a lot of mediums now but the one that launched him initially was his book. Think about what you’ll enjoy doing, where you’ll best be able to connect with your ideal prospect and, what will align the best with your brand. Instagram and other social media can also create a connection and provide a space for you to build your brand and your following … but it will only work if what you do, your brand, and who you’re best suited to connect with are hanging out there too. (I talked about this for authors in the video on the 5 tips to use social media to promote your book).

I’m a big fan of video, but it’s certainly not the only way I reach folks. I love speaking and I enjoy writing … so both made sense for me. If you hate writing, look at video and podcasting.

Your message needs at least one medium – it’s up to you to consider what one(s) are best for you, your brand and your audience.

Now, next time you meet someone, you’ll have a plan and a brand to have YOUR name be remembered. When you post your first video and get started in social media – share it with me! You’ll find me hanging out on YouTube and Facebook. I’d love to connect with you and see what you’re creating for your brand.

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Image Credits:
Image 1: © Starstock |
Image 2: © Jaguarps | 
Image 3: © Jaguarps |

The Economic Effects of Physical Appearance. Social Science Quarterly 74. 1993. P. 420-37.

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