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What Does Your Personal Brand Say About You?

A Personal Brand is about what you say, how you say it, what you do, how you do it, and how you look. But, Personal Branding is not about showing off to others. Here are some great examples of personal brands.

Tiger Woods . What a magnificent Personal Brand. Even the name grabs you. (What if his nickname had been "Poodle?") Tiger! Relentless. Tiger! You can hear a tiger roar. The fist pump at the end of a good shot. Aggressive. His brand is so strong that he makes significantly more than being the Personal Brand than he does from playing the game! And, he's best at playing the game of golf. Is there a lesson in this? Yes. Personal marketing of your Personal Brand can play just as big a role in your success as your actual performance.

Arnold Schwarzenegger . Schwarzenegger, in the 1984 movie The Terminator, said three words that allowed him to win election as the governor of California 20 years later. Those three words were, "I'll be back." Those three words powered and defined brand Schwarzenegger. Those three words stuck with him over two decades and stuck in the minds of enough voters. "I'll be back," suggested he would be powerful in times of crisis, resolve when things were tough, focused and determined. Without those three words there is no Schwarzenegger holding political office. What's the lesson here? Words have power. What you say and how you say it can propel you or hold you back.

Austin, Texas has a strong brand. When I travel around the country people always ask me, "Where are you from?" When I say Austin, Texas, they say, "That's a very nice place." In most cases these people have never been to Austin. But, they know the brand. They comment on the music … the barbecue … the rolling hill country. And Austin has been attracting large numbers of people from some of the other highly watched after cities. These folks, who could live anywhere, choose Austin over New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago … Brand Austin interviews a lot of the right sort of people. What's the learning here? If your Personal Brand is right, you will attract the right sort of people to your side.

I have been wearing bowties since I was 4 years old. I like them and have collected hundreds over the years. The look has become such a big part of my Personal Brand during formal events that I dare not show up without my bowtie on. There have even been times when I've been dressed casually while traveling on vacation and people have come up to me and said, "Where is your bowtie?" What's the lesson here? Your audience has expectations of you and feels let down if you do not meet those expectations. This applies to your job performance, your look, and your style. Everything. What is your brand? You project it in every contact with others.