Lessons From Katie Price on Personal Branding
Those two brilliant buzzwords that I often talk about even though it often makes most people roll their eyes. I know it sounds like awful men-in-suits-marketing-jargon but there’s never been a better time to be good at self-branding. We all make mistakes, but knowing the solid foundations for building a strong brand of who you are (especially when promoting yourself online) isn’t a bad thing really is it?
I mean there’s the obvious ones who are absolutely brilliant at personal branding: there’s the lovely Zoella, Kim Kardashian, Oprah, and even someone like Simon Cowell, who all have a strong visual brand and you just get what they’re about instantly. Each of these are the type of brand that means you could sell a cushion with their face on it for an extortionate amount of money.
So as part of Advertising Week (I covered a few of the talks for their blog) I thought I’d write a more chatty type post for this blog on what I learned whilst listening to Katie Price talk about her personal brand. I was keen to attend this one, as I have tons of respect for Katie Price, I think she is AWESOME. A total powerhouse who has worked her arse off and built herself an empire that she totally owns and runs herself. She is a #GIRLBOSS. And the fact that she has been in the industry for twenty years, and currently working on her fifth autobiography is just another bit of proof that she is bossing it.
Don’t box yourself in, and take yourself too seriously – you don’t have to be really protective or shout “THIS IS MY PERSONALITY AND MY THING!!” and draw a line around it. It’s OK to dip into other things. You don’t have to just talk about one thing over and over again until someone ‘gets you’. A personal brand is a series of lots of different things that build up to you being You. And has Katie said: ‘have fun with it’. Don’t be a bore.
Soz, what you wear is important – It was interesting that ‘looks’ came up in conversation. This isn’t to say that appearance is the be all and end all of a personal brand, but it would be silly to think that it didn’t matter. Even certain famous people who just wear THE SAME THING every day (cough, Simon Cowell) it’s still a branding move. Same with ‘peacocking’, there’s loads of people who have a bright feature and they’re more likely to be remembered. Katie Price also admitted to getting attention through her clothes: “I look like a twat at press calls. But I make people aware of me.” I loved that she admitted that. She knows what she’s doing.
Decide what you do & don’t want to share – The fact that we all overshare on Twitter is a big part of branding and obviously employers will go through your social meeds before giving you a job to check for any weird stuff. As headhunter Kathleen Saxton called it: “don’t let your Friday night meet your Monday morning”, i.e keep it separate and be smart enough to know how much you share. So it’s worth being honest because it’s very easy to get found out when our whole lives are shared online. It’s different you want to hold things back, but pretending to someone else will never work.
Don’t lie to yourself – It’s worth knowing the difference between your ‘ideal self’ and your ‘real life’ and not covering up the real you. Be brave with who you are. Plus people are more likely to connect to your fragility or vulnerability as you always feel closer to someone when they’re open with you. Katie won Celebrity Big Brother this year and one of the reasons might have been because people felt she was being totally herself.
Have a voice that people recognise – like body language, your phraseology and way you speak online is really important. It would be detrimental to change your mind LOADS about things or the way you speak. Have an authentic voice.
Network, even if it’s not IRL – Even if your idea of having ‘drinks and nibbles’ makes you want to die, you have do network to some extent because your personal brand is reflected in the people around you. The people who follow you, or connect with you emphasise what your brand is all about. It’s important to continuously network with like-minded people and chat to people who have the same sort of opinions as you do about the world.
You can rebrand, but it takes time – Katie Price famously rebranded from being ‘Jordan’ to ‘Katie’ and managed to successfully make the transition with the help of the media who supported it. It is pretty difficult though because a brand gets lodged into our minds, and plus, people don’t really like change. Apparently, according to Engine Group CEO Robin Wight it’s very difficult to change the publics opinion of you as “the brain makes up our minds about something or someone in 11 seconds”. Katie Price believed that having two brands was a result of having a Gemini star sign (OMG SNAP), but also the positives of having two brands means that Jordan can still do the men’s magazines and Katie Price can do the horsey mum stuff.
Other people aren’t the competition – It’s not that nice when someone copies you or steals your ideas BUT it’s out of your control and not really about ‘competitors’. Being true to yourself is the main thing. Compete with yourself. As Katie Price says “no-one can ever be the ‘next Katie Price’, because there’s only one of me.”
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