In this social media obsessed age, there have never been so many opportunities to get your personal branding just right – or horribly and very publicly wrong.
Maggie Eyre has been helping people navigate the treacherous terrain of managing the way the world perceives them since Mark Zuckerberg was a gleam in his mother’s eye. She is aware that the phrase ‘personal branding’ can make people flinch, baggage as it is with connotations of contrivances, manipulative self-promotion and half-truths. In the age of the omnipresent selfie, the message Maggie wants people to hear is that successfully managing your image is about authenticity, not duplicity.
In her latest book ‘Being You’, Maggie teaches us everything we need to know about personal branding. Whether you are the leader of an organisation or team, engaged in creative work, in transition and changing your job, searching for a new career, going for a job interview, giving an important speech or presentation, wanting to network more effectively, or lobbying for a public position, this book will provide you with the toolkit
Verve caught up with Maggie about a week ago and so enjoyed our conversation that we simply had to share it with you.
What is Personal Branding?
A personal brand tells the world about who you are as a human being personally and professionally. A personal brand will reveal everything about what your mission is in the world, which is formed by your true values. You are the sum story of all your past actions, so what’s inside you counts and how you have treated people. Thinking about your reputation is also important because you get to be in charge of how you want to live and act. Write down what you think your reputation is now and then write down what you want it to be. People are looking for authenticity. Our work at Fresh Eyre is about helping our clients to be confident and authentic when they present to an audience or communicate in a meeting, interview or business pitch. Are you presenting a true version of yourself? If not why not?
Why care about your Personal Brand?
Your personal brand drives your business brand. What I mean by this is that people are looking at you holistically especially because of social media. There’s no hiding behind a curtain, a logo or a bill board! People expect transparency and if you look after your reputation people will want to work with you. It all comes down to trust.
Warren Buffett’s quote ‘’It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it’’ says it all! Protecting your reputation is as important as growing and protecting your personal brand. We work with people we trust. We are drawn to people who share our core values. We need to care about our personal brand if we want to build and grow our personal and business relationships.
There are thousands of books about Personal Branding. Why write another?
Great question! I asked myself this when my publisher asked me to think about writing a book on personal branding. My background is in professional theatre and public relations and I have been helping people work on their personal brands for over twenty years. Placing an importance on living your values is a way to build your personal brand. Every personal branding expert shares their own story. In my book Being You I talk about my experiences and those of friends and clients to help my readers to dig deep ! My hope is that my book will have a long shelf life.
How would you describe the Personal Brand of the NZ PM?
Authentic, courageous, compassionate, empathetic, modern, bold and transparent. The Christchurch March 15 terrorist tragedy was Jacinda’s biggest test in her political career. Her leadership captured the world’s attention. She was simply herself and true to her values. Her personal brand is strong and her authenticity shines.
Who are the top 3 best Personal Brands in the world? Why?
Whether you like him or hate him – Donald Trump! He knows how to build a story and land his message.
Oprah Winfrey is known for her knowledge, wisdom, transformation and bravery. She attracts massive audiences globally.
Dalai Lama. – I have seen him in action on a stage in New Zealand and was mesmerised by his presence. Humour, compassion, inspiration and a sense of humour are the qualities that draw me to him as a human being. He lost his country and he still smiles! Overcoming adversity with a sparkle in his eyes is remarkable.
What advice do you give to your clients who are in crisis when transitioning from a job?What can they do to reinvent their Personal Brand?
Working with clients who are in transition from one job to the other is a privilege because people are so vulnerable. This is the perfect time to reinvent yourself and reach out for coaching and mentoring from an expert in personal presence. Role play an interview with a friend or colleague and have it videoed so you can see how you come across. Ask for feedback. This is also the time to network when building your personal brand so accept every invite. This will keep your confidence up and meeting new people may lead to a new job. Stay positive! Social media can be limiting and every time you meet a stranger and engage in a meaningful conversation you are on the road to creating a meaningful relationship that could transform your business.
Why did you call your book Being You?
My publisher came up with the name because I talk about coaching my clients to be themselves and these words sprung off the page. My presentation classes and workshops are about helping clients to be themselves. As Joseph Campbell and American mythologist said ‘’The privilege of a life time is being who you are’’ Being you is more important than being liked by someone else.
Personal Branding seems important to politicians, business people and celebrities. So why should those who don’t fit into these categories care? Is Personal Branding for everyone?
We all need to care about our reputation especially if we are a public figure or in the lime light because we are a role model for better or worse. People look up to high performing athletes and celebrities and it’s an opportunity to touch people’s lives and give people hope. Politicians in the spot light receive media attention so protecting their personal brand is essential to win respect. Politicians rely on the media to get their messages out there so looking after their reputation is a priority.
None of us can escape social media. People in the public eye can be criticised every second, every day on and off line, all over the world. In my opinion anyone in a leadership position needs to care about their personal brand. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, human beings will judge you based on how you live your values. What do you stand for in the world? Be the human being that leaves a legacy that you and your loved ones can be proud of.
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies Me, Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called you.”– Tom Peters, American writer on business management.