Don’t Let Your Brand Be Bland

The job market is full of them. LinkedIn is littered with their motto. Social media is their voice to repeat an echo. Unemployment is scary to millions of Americans, and it creates a certain mindset in the working class; a mindset to envy those more successful because they can’t reach whatever version of the American dream they conjured up. And it’s a mindset that needs to be dispelled, so the unemployed can become the opposite. Not employed, but empowered. What is it that the successful have and the unemployed don’t?

A brand that isn’t bland.

You see it on LinkedIn, a trend that I have slowly but surely try to replace. Profiles that read like a job description. How many ways can you tell us you do your job without repeating yourself? No personality except, if you are lucky, they have a picture of them smiling. Or for the unemployed LinkedIn user, their goal is to get a job. That’s it. Get a job and go home. No initiative to change the world, no incentive to be a valuable connection.

Does the above paragraph sound like you? STOP NOW! Being a job seeker is fine, but that is NOT your brand. You wouldn’t go to an establishment if they openly say their only goal is to get your money. That isn’t a brand, that’s a pyramid scheme.

So what is a brand? What is the best way to get your profile noticed on LinkedIn? In actuality, there are multiple variations on what a brand is, and all of them are correct. One of my personal favorites is story telling. It’s where you tell the story of how you got into your career, what makes you human and what makes you… you. Your personal brand isn’t your job title, it’s who you are that performs the job title.

Stop using the “I’m a hard worker” line. No one wants a hard worker, in the digital age everyone wants the smart worker.
Stop using “I have a college degree” line. You paid your future salary for a piece of paper. Think about that for a moment.
Stop using “the job market is hard” line. Something I learned when I as young, there are always jobs, sometimes you have to ask the right questions to the right people. Or if you can’t find a job, make one!

If you have any of those lines in your profile, you don;t have a brand, you have a cliche. Your story, your attitude and your skills sprinkled with some creativity makes your personal brand.

And companies, speaking of brands, take a play from Cards Against Humanityand personalize all of your content. Stop being so rigid and corporate. Think of what makes your company special and if you can’t you got a problem.
Small companies, try a more personal approach in your marketing ideas. Stop doing what the bigger names do and try something original. Target social apps, community events or a wild and exciting promotion.

The unorthodox content genius Ted Bauer asked recently the point of consultants. The point is to think and implement ideas that normal employees wouldn’t be able to think of, because their day-to-day activities steal their attention. There is no shame in asking for help, as long as it’s to grow your business or personal endeavors.

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