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Written by Jimmie Burroughs Email to a friend
Personal branding isn’t something we do ourselves; others give us our brand; we just supply the information for them to use. Learning how personal branding is determined is of the essence if we are to brand ourselves to become successful in whatever our endeavor may be.
We are responsible for the brand we get by the information we provide to others about ourselves. I read an article about a young actress today whose picture is gracing the cover of a national magazine. The article said, while the actress presented a beautiful appearance on the outside, she was not that way on the inside. Her language was dirty and foul, and they printed an example of it in a statement she had made which was filled with obscene language. The brand of being a gutter mouth may not hurt her as a movie star, but it sure lessens her image as a beautiful person.
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Branding is something the mind does automatically when we come in contact with a person. It only takes about 14 seconds for the mind to gather the information needed to place its brand. The eyes act like cameras sending information to the brain for evaluation at the speed of light. The ears act as audio recorders also rapidly sending messages to the brain. This is all done without any effort on our part. As soon as the eyes make contact with a person the message goes to the brain concerning gender, ethnic, approximate age and hair color. That is the initial information that we have little control over.
Next is appearance which takes into consideration looks, dress, facial expressions, demeanor, and personality, threatening or non-threatening. It is primarily from this second observation that the mind determines the brand. The mind decides on the score, whether it is poor, good, very good or excellent. Your brand is probably going to run pretty consistent regardless of the person you are meeting because you are responsible for the grade you receive by the information you provide about yourself in those 14 seconds.
If you are interested in branding yourself to help your business or helping to make friends or meet someone of the opposite sex, it requires some deliberate effort on your part to make sure that those first 14 seconds are filled with positive information about you as a person. Some situations are more important than others. For example, when you go for a job interview, the first 14 seconds of the interview could determine if you get the job or not. The way you’re dressed, whether appropriate for the job or not, whether neat and clean; your personality, if you have a friendly demeanor, or if you have a smile and a good solid hand shake.
And of course the evaluation continues for the remainder of the conversation or interview, but nothing is more important than those first 14 seconds; they determine that all important first impression. It is true that first impressions aren’t always accurate, but once they are determined, it takes a lot to over-ride them.
Learning how to make a good first impression is extremely important to branding ourselves and to success. Some are more prone because of personality to make a good first impression, while others have to work harder at it by developing their personality and becoming a more attractive person. Really, that is what personal development is all about, and that is why it is also so important for personal branding.
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