We live in a competitive market. Products need to differentiate themselves against competition to succeed.
So do people.
In your case, the differentiator becomes your personal brand. Your brand represents a product in the marketplace. And like all marketplaces, there are buyers and there are sellers. And some people won’t be buying what you’re selling.
Personal branding is a result of your own efforts
Every day, we see politicians, business executives, musicians, actors and athletes on TV or in the news. This was not an accident. Every one of them intentionally exposed themselves to the press. They asked for it. They demanded our attention.
Have you ever been approached by the press to share your accomplishments? Have you ever asked for it?
Many people think celebrities inherently get press because of their occupation. This is not true. You have to reach out to get it. Even when they’ve reached the top, they still have to give people a reason to listen.
The same goes for you. When you want to accomplish a goal, you have to tell people about it. You won’t succeed at selling a product or service if no one knows about it. And it all starts with your personal brand as the product.
Why should a company hire you instead of the competition? Why do people buy into you?
Products don’t have feelings
A unique personal brand (your product) makes the difference. Tangible products don’t have feelings. But people do. When a customer says, “I hate the iPhone”, and chooses an Android instead, the iPhone doesn’t care. The business executives running Apple care, but the phone does not. The little iPhone didn’t get offended. Its feelings didn’t get hurt. It didn’t cry or get angry or become demoralized. It just sat on the shelf for one more day.
People on the other hand, feel those emotions. Engaging in self-promotion to get your personal brand out there risks people choosing the other product. Except this time, they may say, “I hate you.”
Has someone ever said that to you?
I know a few of my ex-girlfriends have. Does that mean I shouldn’t date anymore? No.
The risk of rejection does not outweigh the benefit of a great relationship. Same concept applies in business. You have to put yourself out there. If you want to get noticed, you have to stand for something. But…you’ll have to overcome the fear of the haters.
The most successful people in the world regardless of their occupation or opinion have to deal with the negativity. It is unavoidable in your rise to popularity.
The President can take it
Consider the position of President Obama. Forget about your personal political position for a second. This is not a political endorsement. In the last US presidential election of 2012, 65 million people voted for Obama while 60 million people voted for Romney. 60 million voted against him! That’s a lot of people publicly expressing support for the competition. Same goes for Romney. 65 million people said “we don’t believe in you.” Few can stomach this level of opposition.
Political success is dependent on the ability to self-promote. And success is easily quantified by the number of supporting votes. President Obama and the Democratic Party spent $985 million marketing their message to the American people. That’s a lot of money to promote a personal brand.
Any level of success in business comes at a price. Some people will HATE you. That’s the way it is and the way it always will be.
Thousands of people may LOVE you. But one nasty email, blog comment, facebook message, text or phone call from a hater can be devastating.
So what do you do?
Ignore them. Forget about them. They are not your audience. They are not your customer. They are not your friend. There are 7 billion people in the world. Who cares what one a$$hole thinks. In your case, for every 1 hater there are probably 100 supporters. Go find them.
You don’t have to start by talking to newspapers or a television networks. Start with the people around you. Start defining your personal focus, your personal message. Define the audience you want to attract. Then start standing for something. Have an opinion.
Nobody says, “Hey, I wanted to talk to you because you’re really good at being like everyone else.”
Take the risk of building your personal brand. You will reap the rewards. People can’t help you achieve your goals if you don’t share them. And you can’t solve anyone’s problem if they don’t know about your skills.
This world is as much yours as it is anybody else. Know that with confidence. And start shaping it the way you want it.
When is the last time you dealt with negativity from a hater?