4 Steps To The Brand Of YOU

You are unique.

Yes, you are.  You’re one of a kind. There is no one else like you. Some people may have similar attributes, but they are still different from you.  Even if you are an identical twin, you are not a clone (well, I am pretty sure you aren’t). Good personal branding is communicating through words and actions those things that show who you are: your unique self.  Today’s Attitude Adjustment post looks at 4 things that, when put together, call out what makes you UNIQUE: Expertise, Perception, Personality, and Presence.

My cousin's triplets.  All look the same, but are very individual personalities.

My cousin’s triplets. All look the same, but have very different personalities.

To describe our brand, we need to look at the combination of characteristic features that make us, us. We must be able to describe our personal traits: the distinguishing features of our personal nature, our personality, that we alone possess. It is through analyzing our traits, strengths, weaknesses, and other differentiating qualities, that we construct our personal brand statement and show people the unique value we bring to things.

We have all heard people say things like “it is his nature to help others,” or “she is a natural-born communicator.” Well it is our nature that determines our actions and reactions to things and it is through understanding ourselves to this degree, that we are best able to craft a compelling and authentic personal brand statement.

The Brand of YOU

To get you started on thinking about personality traits, here is a list of some of the more common ones.  Do any of them fit you?

activeness, activity – the trait of being active; moving or acting rapidly and energetically
attentiveness – the trait of being observant and paying attention
communicativeness – the trait of being communicative
discipline – the trait of being well-behaved
drive – the trait of being highly motivated
emotionalism, emotionality – emotional nature or quality
emotionlessness, unemotionality – absence of emotion
femininity – the trait of behaving in ways considered typical for women
firmness of purpose, resoluteness, resolve, firmness, resolution – the trait of being resolute
humility, humbleness – a disposition to be humble; a lack of false pride
individualism, individuality, individuation – the quality of being individual
masculinity – the trait of behaving in ways considered typical for men
pride – the trait of being spurred on by a dislike of falling below your standards
serious-mindedness, earnestness, seriousness, sincerity – the trait of being serious
sound judgement, sound judgment, perspicacity, judgement, judgment – the capacity to assess situations or circumstances shrewdly and to draw sound conclusions
thoughtfulness – the trait of thinking carefully before acting
trustfulness, trustingness, trust – the trait of believing in the honesty and reliability of others
trustiness, trustworthiness – the trait of deserving trust and confidence
wisdom, wiseness – the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight
Trait definitions from TheFreeDictionary © 2012 by Farlex, Inc.

When I ask people what their personal brand is, many can not tell me.  They can talk about their technical or business expertise and they can recite their work and life resumes, but they lack the details of what they uniquely bring to the world – their personal twist – their brand.  When pushed they can tell me their moral and ethical values, and their passions, but they have never tried to create a personal brand image.  And, you first need to develop your personal brand image before you will be able to create a digital one.

Attitude Adjustment Homework:  Crafting Your Personal Brand Image.

In your notebook make a list of the following information.

1,  Expertise:  Include here your competencies: general knowledge, point of view on things, technical knowledge, and your critical thinking ability.

64309“An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject, and how to avoid them.”
Werner Heisenberg

2.  Perception: What do other people think you’re an expert in? What are you known for doing well?  What strengths do others perceive you possess?

Understanding how people see us is enlightening, and is the best way to investigate and improve our image, especially when it comes to branding. I regularly survey my mentors, managers, colleagues, and clients to ensure that I have a good feedback loop between what I think I project and what I really project.

This makes me think of a line from a Robert Burns poem:

“O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.”
(O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us.)
Robert Burns, Poem “To a Louse” – verse 8
Scottish national poet (1759 – 1796)

3.  Personality: What are your personality strengths and weaknesses?  Describe your core personality traits.

Personal strengths, unlike skills and expertise, are based on who you are, not what you know.  These are the personality traits that I mentioned above. Once you understand your personality traits, your natural talents, you can apply them to your personal definition.

Take me for example: my top personal strength is “Individualization.”  I am intrigued with the unique qualities of each person and have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively. (Gallup StrengthFinder) This talent has served me well in my role as a global program manager, in customizing projects for clients. and in identifying different approaches to everything from data analysis to personal problems.

4.  Presence.  Your personal image depends on how you appear in the world.  Presence or appearance includes things like how you dress, the way your carry yourself, your posture, your gestures, even your facial expressions.  Influence demands on personal presence.  You can have all the other factors, but without the proper presence you may never be able to ‘sell’ the Brand of You, “Presence is not an all-or-nothing commodity. Consider it a continuum, with your physical attributes, natural talents, communication skills, and character traits plotted along the way somewhere from one end to the other between “low presence/low impact” and “high presence/high impact.” (Dianna Booher, Creating a Powerful Personal Presence to Influence and Engage, American Management Association, March 6, 2012)

Once you have a solid list in all 4 categories, you can begin to create a strawman of your brand profile.  But I think that is enough homework for a couple of days.



Keep up the good attitude. See you next blog.

– Lorian

(All the Social Butterfly’s views are her own)

Attitude Adjmt Plan #1 – Defining Personal Brand

I am a Project Manager (PM) by profession, and as a PM, I like to make plans and work those plans to completion.  For me it is critical to have a plan, especially when you are working with something as big as crafting your digital eminence (it sounds like a big job to me).  I also find that having a plan with distinct milestones helps me keep to the task at hand, otherwise I could get overwhelmed by the whole process.  One of the ways that I have been successful with really complex programs is to break them down into little plans. Today I am working on the first steps and tasks to reach digital eminence: I will call it my ‘Attitude Adjustment Plan.’

Step 1 Defining My Personal Brand 

j0283864I must confess that I have actually been working this digital eminence thing for several months and it is not easy.  At the center of this whole eminence thing is a the PERSONAL BRAND.  Without knowing your personal brand you have nothing to focus on and nothing to be eminent in.  Your personal brand is “what you are known for.”  It is how you define yourself in the work world while highlighting the personal elements that uniquely tell the world what makes you special.

“Personal Branding links your passions, key personal attributes, and strengths with your value proposition, in a crystal clear message that differentiates your unique promise of value from your peers and resonates with your target audience.”Meg Guiseppi, Personal Branding Expert 

Focusing on myself makes me a little uncomfortable, it is not something I am used to doing, but I know that I will not get to where I need to go if I don’t, so here goes . . .


Task 1.  What is my vision and my purpose?  Before I can brand myself, I need to dig deep (introspection is tough but necessary), and understand what it is I want to be known for.  What practice or expertise is it that I am trying to build?  What kind of client relationships do I want?  And ask myself those hard questions about my purpose for doing all this.

Task 2.  What are my values and my passions?  This is the touchy-feely stuff.  I really have to understand what I stand for, my world view and my personal values, to be able to be real (aka: authentic) so that I can move forward.  To decide if an opportunity is a good fit for me, I really need to understand my operating principles, my personal belief system, my passions (those things that drive me) or I will not be happy ultimately.  (And, if Mommy is not happy, no one is happy!)

This homework may take a while.  Actually branding is probably something I will be working on for the rest of my life, so now is as good a time to start as any.

ARE YOU WITH ME?  This is the road to Digital Eminence, and remember we are doing it with a Digital Attitude!  If you have questions about your assignment just comment below.  Class is now in session.       

Today’s Links:

30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore

Leverage Social Media To Convey Your Expertise

Thanks for taking the journey with me.


See you in the Cloud – Lorian

(All views are my own)

Today’s Attitude: Baby Steps

womanatdesk.gifTruthfully, creating and maintaining personal digital eminence is a lot harder then I ever thought. Developing eminence for a product or service seems like a piece of cake compared to self promotion.  But wait… I am the product now.  I am “The Digital Attitude,” the brand called “Lorian.”

For those of you that are following along with my journey, I realize that there is a tremendous amount of work to do, so I am going to need to do it in baby steps.

My first 24 hour’s attitude adjustment included:

(1) Reading the following stuff; Luis Suarez’s Blog – ELSUA.net.  Luis is an IBMer and his main focus is living social and working without email (It’s a cool concept, don’t you think), and, I am reading everything I can find by Chris Brogan.com , a guru on everything social and successful author.

cropped-summer122.jpg(2) I spruced up my LinkedIn profile (more on how in a future post), including a new picture.    My LinkedIn Adviser, a wonderful British gentlemen named Social Ben (Ben Martin), told me that profile pictures look best with a BLUE TO WHITE GRADIENT background.  Blue says ‘trust’ and White says ‘purity.’ I don’t have a professional business picture and I could not find one with a light background, so I am hoping this one works for now.  I guess I may have to invest in a professional shot.

What do you think?  Would you trust that face? –>

(3) I have been learning a great deal about tagging and keyword control.  I plan on blogging about that very soon.  I went and tagged my profile with a whole bunch of relevant keywords so that people can search me better.  If people can’t find me based on key words, then my profile is kind of meaningless. (I looked at what some other people had on their profile to get an ideas.)

(4) I went and endorsed a few of my colleagues for their skills on LinkedIn, so that I can help them adjust their digital attitude a little too.

If I have any time before I go to sleep I am going to try and follow a few strategic leaders, like Ginni Rometty (remember I’m an IBMer), and start to comment on what she discusses (if I have something relevant to add).  Comments help you build more eminence day by day.  (I think I am getting the hang of this.)  I also am going to take a deep look at my lack of network connections on both LinkedIn and Tweeter.  (I have a lot of work to do.  I think this week, I will make an Attitude Adjustment Plan, so I know where I am going.)

Doing all this stuff really is starting to set me off balance with my work/life things, and I know there must be a smarter way to incorporate social into my schedule. Are you with me?  Are you starting to make an Attitude Adjustment Plan to build your digital eminence? Are there topics you think I should explore?

Thanks for taking the journey with me.


See you in the Cloud – Lorian

(All views are my own)

Taking Out The Digital Garbage

maidYears ago I used to Google myself (did I really just use Google as a verb?) every couple of months.  In those days, before Facebook and LinkedIn, all the good newspaper articles with my name in them and business highlights would come up at the top of the list.  Now I Google myself about once a week, and find that the Social Media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) and years of accumulated digital clutter have taken over the first page.  I don’t want to be defined by things like my local Homeowner’s Associate Newsletter just because it mentions my name 3 times and some search engine picked up the feed – that to me is DIGITAL GARBAGE.  Internet search engines go out and pick up every instance of my name, so what I get is a lot of stuff floating to the top that I don’t want seen first, if at all.  Have you Googled yourself recently?

Today’s digital attitude adjustment will be to figure out how to take out the digital garbage.  I want people to see the stuff I think is more important on top.  I am not sure how to go about this, but I will get back to you later and let you know what I have found.  There is a whole industry around this for businesses, but what about for simple, hard working stiffs like me?  Are there secrets for us regular people for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?  Controlling my personal information is important, but it seems almost impossible at times.

How do you take out your digital garbage?  Suggestions welcome. -Thanks

digitalattitudesmallSee you in the Cloud – Lorian