Every time life gets unbearably tough (adultlike) I like to imagine myself as a character from a fantasy world. Images of walking through the corridors of magical Hogwarts castle, flying over the mountains carried by Falcor the luck dragon, or saving the Gotham from enemies over and over again, set my mind at ease.
But isn’t it true that we all can be superheroes in our own way, even in the real world? We have the possibility of building a unique brand around ourselves as individuals. We can (and we should) be true to our own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures. Even though not everyone can be Elon Musk and send a car into outer space, we can leave our own special mark on the surface of Earth. 🙂
Superheroes are brands made human. They have a purpose, they make an impression, and we are attached to their personalities and superpowers. More importantly, they can teach us a lot about authenticity and personal branding.
1. Have a Purpose
The very second you think of Batman, you can remember his purpose as a Gotham protector. Everything he does leads to the same goal – make the city safe. You are defined by who you are and that’s the very essence of having a purpose. Everyone needs it. You won’t find it in what you do – it is hidden in the way you’re doing it, between the strengths and passions that drive you.
You don’t have to be a fictional superhero and to save lives (although you can try 🙂 ). It can be about making people’s lives easier, helping them to connect, to make decisions, to save time. A clear purpose will give you a reason to get out of bed, go to work, and always strive higher and higher. If Batman taught us anything, it would be that without a purpose you can’t have a brand.
2. Know Your Strengths & Powers
Enhanced senses, very fast healing, superhuman power, high intelligence, resistance to fire… Does it ring a bell? Wonder Woman, of course! She has a skill set many superheroes can be jealous of, but even Diane had to spend some time getting to know the true nature of her powers.
All of us have unique strengths and skills. Once you recognize them, use them as a superpower for making an outstanding personal brand. It is very important to find things (or a thing) you are good at because that is one of the most powerful ways to become a must-follow. Identifying your skills and incorporating them into your personal brand will help you create a unique selling proposition. But you should not stop there! Can you think of a better way to showcase your superpowers than a personal website? It will be your cozy virtual kingdom from where you can show the world how special you are. Why don’t you do it the superhero way and use .ME ’cause it’s all about you?
3. Know Your Audience
If you’re facing a powerful enemy, equipped with hi-tech weapons, who do you call for help? The guy who is always two steps ahead when it comes to the advanced technology – Iron Man! You pissed off a group of scary giants? The Incredible Hulk is always there when you need him.
When in trouble, you always know which superhero number to dial. That’s the art of knowing your audience. Since all superheroes have different powers, they also have different audiences. It is not important how big or small your audience is, it is all about relevance. If you are a science-fiction writer, you can not expect for Eloisa James fans to buy your books. Having a strong personal brand means you need to know who you can serve. By targeting the right audience, your true values will be recognized and appreciated.
4. Be Consistent
He doesn’t come from Marvel/DC Universe, but one must appreciate his powers and consistency. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore can teach us a thing or two about the value he was constantly delivering to Hogwarts students.
Managing your personal brand means that you have to be a great role model, mentor, and a trustful voice that others can depend upon. If you’re inconsistent, you can’t count on establishing a reputation. Following the same (or similar) logic and accuracy allows you to measure your ideas over time. It also helps position as an expert in the certain field, with a strong reputation, relevance, and personal brand.
Professor Dumbledore wasn’t just one of the greatest wizards of all times, but also a great mentor delivering powerful messages to those eager to listen. Even after his death, in both fantasy and the real world, we all remember that happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light!
5. Be Unique
Every superhero is unique in some way or the other, and it’s not just because they all have different superpowers. They have different passions, goals, and personalities, just like us.
Our cause and purpose in life are often related to our personal story and the same goes for superheroes. Just think about Wade Wilson aka Deadpool! A masked vigilante with anger issues, who kills everyone standing on his way. But he’s also unique. He doesn’t claim to be perfect, and if you think about it, most of the time he acts like a regular, bulletproof human being.
That’s the catch! As a personal brand, what differentiates you from corporate brands is this very same human side. Know your strengths, but be aware of your imperfections. Maintain your values and use every opportunity to improve them. All of that contributes to making you exactly who you are, to creating your unique and authentic brand.
6. Always Level-Up Your Powers
The first thing adult life teaches us is that learning never stops. You have to challenge yourself, over and over again. That’s how you grow. In the world full of superheroes (both fictional and real) you can not be satisfied with achieving just one goal. Because there’s the next one, waiting just around the corner.
Did Iron Man stop making awesome suits and armor after the first one in Tales of Suspense #39? Of course, he didn’t. Every assignment, challenge, or obstacle is there to test your skills. And if you’re a true superhero, you’ll deal with each one and keep growing. Otherwise, your brand will eventually fade out, ‘cause there’s a bunch of young superheroes eager for the attention and acknowledgment.
The message is simple: keep growing, keep learning, always be authentic, and always be true yourself. Easy peasy! 🙂
7. Knit Your Hero Net
Or in other words: Network, Network, Network! In order to build a recognizable brand and to become authentic, you have to engage with people from your field. The more connections you have, the stronger you are. Take for example the kick-ass gang called The Guardians of The Galaxy. It took awhile for them to “click”, but when it happened they’ve become the coolest Universe protectors out there.
Besides sharing the experience, networking helps to upgrade your skill set and to learn from other people. And it’s never been easier! We live in the world of social networks which provides a lot of opportunities for engaging with various experts. Use your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts to share your expertise and connect with others who’ll spread the word about you.
Attend professional networking events to meet influencers in your area and in the online world. If you’re an introvert, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone for a while. Groot isn’t a talkative person, but even he adjusted a bit in order to grow (again). 🙂
It is true – everyone can be a superhero. It just takes some time and effort. Even though you may think that you don’t need a personal brand, think again. In the world full of competitors, you have to fight with your authenticity and unique personal brand. The best way to start showcasing your uniqueness and expertise is by having a personal website. .ME can help you there, as an awesoME personal domain extension that suits a real superhero! 🙂