If you've been laid off, stop worrying. You simply are at a rest
stop on the road to success. And, it's time for you to slow down and
ponder existential questions like who are you, what are you good at and
what do you like doing, so you don't land yourself face down in your
With the right personal brand, one that authentically reflects your core
values, passions and talents you can become the Oprah of your chosen
profession. But, to get there, you have to untie your ego from your
former company and title.
The first step of this journey is being able to answer the question:
What do you do? When I answer this question, for example, I never say,
"I'm president of Big Fish Marketing." I do say, "I'm a brand advocate
and published author." Now, there's a tagline that gets attention!
Now, is the time to plant your flag in the ground and declare your
specialty to the world (or at least the next person who interviews you).
Specialists make the big bucks. Generalists are old news.
The next move is to define your dreams and put them into action. Forget
about following your feelings. Instead, lead them to your stated
mission! That means you shouldn't take the first thing that comes along
no matter how desperate you feel.
You now need to consider who you'll need to influence to make your dream
come true. And, the best way to appeal to those people is to do a
180-degree turn, stand in their shoes and figure out what they want to
hear from you.
To find your target audience, comb trade shows, attend conferences and
show up at industry affairs. Make sure that you dress the part. Your
packaging should reflect the soul of your brand. Eighty percent of all
communication is visual, so if you don't look the part you want to play,
no one will cast you in the role.
To stay on track, practice the holy trinity of branding: clarity,
authenticity and consistency. If you tell others who you are and act the
part long enough, you will become your desired brand. From MTV to Martha
Stewart, the supercharged brands never waiver or compromise what they
are about. Neither should you.
Robin Fisher Roffer is president of Big Fish Marketing, Inc. and author
of Make A Name For Yourself - 8 Steps Every Woman Needs to Create A
Personal Brand Strategy for Success.