Game Changer - 5 Ways To Change Your Personal Brand
Collegiate sports handed down one
of the most unprecedented changes in the last year - arguably one of the
biggest of this century. What was that change? Name, image and likeness, or
NIL. Previous NCAA rules and state laws prevented
athletes from earning income in college on their NIL. NCAA athletes can sell
the rights to their name, image and likeness, enabling them to make money on business
ventures without losing their eligibility. How do you sell your brand?
When I was 19 years old, I
remember sitting in professor Tommy Karam's class at Louisiana State
University. Dr. Karam teaches sports marketing and oversaw training for all LSU
athletes on their personal brand and how to properly manage it. Dr. Karam
teaches athletes how to speak to the media and more importantly, how your NIL
comes after your personal brand.
You have more influence and more
respect as a leader if your personal brand is where it should be. If all those
elements line up, reporters, bloggers and reviewers are more likely to write
something that is favorable to you.
What is your personal brand? It's
simple. What do people think of when they think about you?
To understand personal brand, you
need to understand certain concepts:
Likeability is the emotional
impact you have on someone. In the workplace, it's usually an employee or
customer, but likeability is the ability to look someone in the eye, ask them to
do something and have them want to do it based on how much they like you.
Knowing your personal brand is important because it's an extension of you and
Two Concepts of Likeability
Most people rarely pay attention
to but is vocal delivery, but it's powerful. It's what makes someone likeable -
38% of the emotional impact you have on someone is judged on vocal delivery. Great
doctors are known for their bedside manner. Compassionate vocal delivery makes
the person sitting across from you feel how much you care.
Vocal delivery is the part of
your personal brand that makes you personable and believable. Have you ever had
to deliver bad news to a customer or received bad news? Think about how it felt
when someone told you bad news in the wrong tone of voice. It's much easier to
receive bad news when someone delivers it in the right tone of voice.
No, it's not the clothes you
wear. The most critical element of visual delivery is your facial expression or what Dr. Karam refers to as your default
look. Visual delivery makes up 55% of the emotional impact you have on someone.
Your default look is what you are doing right now. It's what you do more during
the day than speaking. Images are created in 1/24 of a second; as quick as a
In 2014, LSU landed a top-tier
running back from New Orleans. You might remember Leonard Fournette, one of the
top running backs in LSU history, despite having his final season cut short
from an ankle injury. Ahead of landing a job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Fournette
held the No. 4 spot in LSU history in rushing yards with 3,830. He finished No.
2 in school history in all-purpose yards per game (155.7), No. 3 in overall touchdowns
(42), No. 4 in rushing touchdowns (40), No. 5 in all-purpose yards (4,981), and
No. 7 in scoring (252 points).
In fact, Sports Illustrated
magazine dubbed him the next Herschel Walker in their October 2015 cover story.
Despite his almost flawless record, people mostly remember him by a simple
visual from the 2014 LSU vs. Sam Houston State game. Fournette scored a 4-yard
touchdown and as he turned around in the endzone, he struck the Heisman pose.
One image, 1/24 of a second. Everyone called him arrogant, but he wasn't. He was a wonderful athlete, student and an even better father off the field. That's how quickly brands can be created.
In 2007, LSU won the National Championship and defensive back Ricky Jean Francois was selected as the MVP, which left a lot of people scratching their heads, considering LSU had two other first round picks on the team. No one paid attention to Francois, until he was selected for this award. Shortly after the announcement, ESPN and Sports Illustrated publicized that they were coming to Baton Rouge to interview Francois.
In turn, LSU sent Francois to
media training because he was an extension of the university and their brand. Francois
skipped the first three days of his media training. By day four, his coaches reached
out wanting to know why he never showed up. His response, "I didn't wanna go
because the guy who is supposed to train me always looks mad." 1/24 of a second.
That was all it took for Francois to decide about his trainer. It wasn't
Francois fault for not wanting to be there. His media trainer didn't have the
right default look. The camera never blinks and someone
is always watching you.
Take quarterback Drew Brews, for
example. Before Brees retired, did you ever notice that he was always smiling?
He always had a big smile, when running out of the
tunnel onto the field. Even on the sidelines speaking to teammates or licking
his dirty fingers, he always had a goofy grin. Brees mentioned early on in his
career that he was a big fan of basketball player Aaron Brooks. Aaron Brooks,
who always had a smile on his face. Brees took a page right out of his book. Brooks
knew the minute he walked out of the locker room the cameras were on. What does
Saints owner Tom Benson do? He signed Brees to a $100 million contract, making Brees
the face of his company. Benson knew that Brees was likeable and would sell
tickets, in turn making his brand likeable.
- 5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Personal Brand
Define your Personal
Brand - What do customers think of when they think of you?
Determine your Likeability - Are customers
more inclined to do what you ask them because they like you?
Determine your Default Look - Remember, it
only takes 1/24 of a second (a blink) for someone to make a judgment about you.
That's how quickly brands can be created!
Practice your Vocal
Delivery - What is your tone of voice when you speak to customers
and potential customers? Do you have good bedside manner?
Do your Homework - Go home tonight and find a mirror. Before you look in
the mirror, strike your default look, then turn around and look at your
reflection. If your default look makes you flinch, it's time to tweak it!
Learn to manage
your default look. The next time you are sitting in front of a customer, your
default look will make you look like you care, and your tone of voice will help
your brand make an impact for you and your company.