Of course you’ve heard the news: Everyone has a personal brand and you’d better rush to identify yours. Your brand is how you’re identified in the public sphere. It includes what type of work you do, the people you surround yourself with, the things you’re known for, your fashion sense, your online presence. In short, it’s the marketing of YOU.
Most people hate to be categorized or thought of as “only good at one thing,” but fortunately, women are breaking out of stereotypes. Look at Tilda Swinton’s controversial turn as a piece of human art at the Museum of Modern Art. Reviewers thought it was odd—maybe even off-brand—yet this exhibition was clearly part of her genre as a performance artist. It was bold.
Look at Jessica Alba’s multitasking between acting and business at The Honest Company. She’s motivated and intelligent.
Look at Condoleezza Rice’s evolution from academia into politics… and back to academia. She’s multilingual (fluent in Russian), musical (a concert pianist), and athletic (the first woman, along with Darla Moore, allowed membership at Augusta National Golf Club). Don’t underestimate her.
These are just some of many women who empower themselves with versatility. They aren’t deviating from their brand; they’re expanding it. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
The good news: You control your personal brand. You set the flow, you can make and remake your reputation, and you can (and should!) feel free to evolve. Your cumulative experiences make you a different person over the course of your life, so live it up, make your mark, and unfold the life that represents the quintessential you.
Consistency is important for branding. It solidifies you as an expert and builds trust in your opinion. But don’t fear being versatile. Unless you’re taking on a major transformation, then your extracurricular activities are probably already a fluid extension of your brand. You’ve been cast as a certain character in life, but there are many acts in the play.
You aren’t one-sided. Your character isn’t flat. Rejoice in being different from the rest. Feel free to tap into related fields to strengthen your skills and expand your expertise. Being creative with your character keeps your brain active and makes you more interesting and well-rounded. This can give you a bit of an edge and provide a bridge to evolve as you grow older.
You are different from everyone else, and that’s fantastic! Be authentic, be true to yourself, and take on new experiences with gusto. You’re marketing yourself, and you are who you are. Just like Tilda, Jessica, and Condoleezza, you can multiply your value by amplifying your personal brand.
How do you deviate from your personal brand? How does it help? Tell us in the comments!
Ask Shavonne Dargan, Vice President of National Accounts at Live Nation Network, about how she deviates from her personal brand!