Last Updated Mar 10, 2011 12:35 PM EST
But forget that stuff when it comes to changing your personal brand. You can't, and shouldn't, start over from scratch. Never mind that it's impossible to change your DNA, your personality, your innate strengths. In fact, the best starting point for an effective remake of Brand Me is to sit down with a piece of paper and list your own unique selling propositions. What do you do better than anyone else?
Using the example of conservative commentator Ann Coulter, marketing consultant Dorie Clark makes this point in her article Reinventing Your Personal Brand in the current issue of Harvard Business Review. (The article costs $6.95 to purchase on HBR's website, but is probably worth the investment if you are thinking about how to change people's perceptions of you.)
"What's your unique selling proposition? That's what people will remember, and you can use it to your advantage. After losing popularity to newer, even more right-wing talking heads, the conservative pundit Ann Coulter had to reinvent herself. She didn't entirely abandon her old brand; she reconfigured it to compete in a new marketplace. Leveraging her unique blend of blonde vixen and conservative firebrand, Coulter is now courting gay Republicans who enjoy diva-style smack talk."
And that's a great point. Assuming you have had success in the past and have recognized strengths, those ingredients should be used to "distinctively color your new brand and help you stand out," Clark advises.
By the way, here is a summary of Clark's five steps to successful personal rebranding.
- Define your destination and acquire the necessary skills.
- Create a unique selling proposition and distinguish yourself by leveraging your points of difference.
- Develop a narrative that describes your transition in terms of the value it offers others.
- Reintroduce yourself, using digital media and seizing opportunities to showcase your capabilities.
- Prove your worth by establishing and promoting your track record.
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