The term ‘Microwave Generation’ has become very common with today’s generation. It is used to define the set of people who do not have the patience to wait it out. They believe that everything needs to be done now else it is not considered worth it. A lot of our children fall in this category. Probably because technology has made things so easy.
Think about it, in days past, we would watch a TV series over a period of months, waiting a week for the next episode. Now, with the likes of On-Demand services such as Netflix, you can watch an entire season in just a few hours. Is this necessarily a bad thing? No, it is not, in fact it brings out the nimbleness of life, but it should not be the way to approach everything in life.
Furthermore, one of the most natural development processes that can never be sped up is the development of a child. Can you imagine the possibility of having some growth serum that could accelerate the dreaded naughty or adolescent years of a child’s life? Sidenote: Sign me up!
Yet, each of the growth stages the child experiences is necessary and comes with lessons that must be embraced. With each stage, they are testing their limits, developing their character along with the potential they hold. Delaying or skipping one stage for one reason or another means that there may be a possible problem which must be addressed, failure to which could lead to dreaded consequences.
A brand too needs time. Be it an organization or personal brand. Have a look at some of the big brands that we interact with on a day-to-day basis. It is safe to say that they have taken time to build on their brand fundamentals for them to become household names. And while some of the organizational brands may not have taken 18+ years to reach their peak, they sure had some ‘growth serum’. They did so by advertising to support the brand’s awareness and faster adoption into the market.
But this is not the case for authentic personal brands. A personal brand is akin to a child. No form of growth serum will have lasting effects. A genuine personal brand must go through the pain stacking process. The process of developing its fundamentals for it to grow into something beautiful.
Foundational principles behind Personal Branding
The first principle is all about defining the EMOTIONS behind the person and this is largely driven by one’s personality. What fire do you wish to bring out as an individual? What feelings do you want your audience to engage with as they encounter you? People make decisions based on emotions and therefore, the personality that you leverage on to steer your brand is critical. Shaping your brand personality also means defining what characteristics you want to display as this will help attract the audience that matches your personality traits.
Equally important, behind emotion, comes the EXPERTISE that you hold. Your expertise is what will convince your audience that you have the capability to deliver on your promise. The aim should always be to ensure that you strengthen your skills with the latest in your field. After all, what good is an expert without expertise? Don’t risk being the quack of your industry!
Once your emotions and expertise are aligned, you need to explore the extent of EXPOSURE you seek. This is done by developing deliberate steps that will get you noticed both online and offline. How recognizable do you want your brand to be? Would you like to speak at a TED Talk in the long run? Would you like to be the president of the country some day?
Depending on what your end goal is, then you can plan the ENGAGEMENT tactics that will impact your audience albeit consistently and with continued persistence.
One must be 100% intentional at each of these stages to be able to drive an effective personal brand. The mistake a lot of us make is skipping straight through to driving engagement, getting sidetracked by the measurement metrics while the basics behind defining the person are not yet setup.
Take the long-term view. Be like the butterfly that takes the time to live out each of its stages patiently learning from each stage to a beautiful end.
The Romans told us that Rome wasn’t built in a day; that they were spending each day doing the hard work of laying the necessary bricks to build the empire. Take a minute to internalize this.
Which brick are you laying today to build up your empire?
Each step laid down consistently will help you #standout4growth.