Your personal brand

What do Reggie Jackson, Rudy Giuliani, and Oprah Winfry have in common, other than a record of success? Each has a personal and highly recognizable personal brand: “Mr. October”, “Queen of daytime TV” and “America’s mayor” respectively.

For years, I fought the moniker, “value-added guy”. I didn’t want to pigeon hole myself and limit my options in the speaking business. Then, after years of listening to my customers, I decided to wear the brand with pride and go deep with it. And that has made all of the difference in my business.

What is your personal brand with your customers? What name have they given you? What reputation have you earned with them? Others perceive what you choose to project. Dr. Wayne Dyer said: “You teach others the way to treat you.”

Dyer has a Ph.D. and is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He’s the author of 29 books including the Wisdom of the Ages. Dyer is affectionately called the “father of motivation” by his fans. Despite his childhood spent in orphanages and foster homes, Dyer overcame many obstacles to make his dreams come true. Today he spends much of his time showing others how to do the same. 

Here are some ways we’ve heard customers describe top salespeople: “He’s my go-to guy.” “She’s my safety net.” “He’s the guru of the industry.”

Your customers have a brand for you, even if it’s “Who?” It’s the result of all that you have done or have failed to do for customers. Work on your brand. Think of the mental image you want to own in the customer’s mind. What reputation do you want to carry around with you?

The beauty of establishing this personal brand is that no one can intrude on it – it’s yours. There can be only one “go-to guy” or “safety net”. The competition will earn their brands and own them, but you alone own your brand.

Tom Reilly is the guy who literally wrote the book on Value-Added Selling. His next Value-Added Selling public seminar is May 9-10, 2007 in St. Louis. Check out the itinerary online at


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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