In her new book, Selling Yourself, Dr. Cindy McGovern shows you how to step-by-step create a powerful personal brand. Using her five-step strategy, you’ll learn how to build an impressive, authentic brand, live your brand and sell your brand.
“Whether your brand has created itself, you’ve outgrown your original brand, you’re ready for the next level, or you’ve changed your passion or purpose, this book is for you,” shares McGovern.
You’ll learn how to showcase your brand to expand your opportunities, establish trust, build deeper connections, have more confidence to ask for what you want, leave lasting impressions, and finally to express gratitude.
One of my favorite parts of the book is where McGovern includes this quote from Mahatma Gandhi:
Your beliefs become your thoughts.
Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your values.
Your values become your destiny.
Dr. Cindy McGovern
Today, McGovern shares these additional insights with us.
Question: Why did you decide to write Sell Yourself?
McGovern: I wrote Sell Yourself because I wish I had had a book like this when I was first joining the workforce and in every career change, I have made along the way.
Most people know that they have to sell themselves during a job interview or an annual performance evaluation at work. But few people actually know how to sell.
I wrote Sell Yourself because no other book out there looks at personal branding as a sales tool. And no other book on personal branding teaches readers the sales skills that will help them sell that brand—sell themselves—like a pro.
Sell Yourself not only guides readers through the process of creating an authentic personal brand that they can comfortably live day in and day out, but it teaches them the skills and strategies of the sales professional so they can use those tools to sell themselves and their brands.
Question: How is the book more useful today than, say, it would have been pre-pandemic?
McGovern: Selling ourselves—and personal branding—has become increasingly important as more and more employees join the Great Resignation. Millions left their jobs during the lockdown, and others are still leaving or considering it. Many who have left, though, have now become part of the Great Regret. So, it’s time for the Great Rebranding.
Many of the people who left their jobs—and their careers—did it after they had time to think about whether they were happy and fulfilled with what they were doing all day pre-pandemic. They wanted to find work that was more meaningful or, in some cases, stop working so they could devote more time to family or personal development.
At some point, though, most of those people will have to return to the world of work for, if nothing else, a paycheck. When they do, they might look for positions that they feel will suit them better. But will those in a position to hire them believe those applicants are suited for jobs that are completely different from what the candidates were doing before?
In many, or even most, cases, the answer is “no.” That’s where rebranding comes in.
Whenever we make a big life change, it’s time to rebrand. The personal brand that made us successful—or at least employable—before might not work as well as we try to move into unfamiliar territory or unrelated careers.
Personal branding, whether it’s for the first time or it’s a rebranding, starts with examining our goals. Once we understand what we really want, we can figure out what we need to do to get it. Do we need training or more education? A new wardrobe? A more relevant network? Referrals and introductions from different people?
Next, we look at people who have what we want. What qualities do they have that we also have? Those become the core of the new brand. Once we start living a brand that helps us present ourselves as if we have already achieved those goals, it will be easy to sell that brand to the people who can help us get there.
Along the personal branding journey, where do you find people struggle the most—at the create, live or sell stage?
I’d say living our personal brands is the greatest challenge. If we live our brands day in and day out, they’re easy to sell. But it’s hard to never go off brand. Yet when we behave in a way that’s contrary to the personal brand that we are trying to sell, we can destroy it our brands and our reputations in a hurry. Just look at all of the celebrities who have been canceled over a one-time slip—sometime from remarks they made decades earlier.
A personal brand reflects who you are, plus 10%. Some days, we just don’t have that extra 10% to give. Sometimes, we just need a break, and we should take it. On those days, thought, it’s important to stay out of the public eye. We all need to let our guard down every now and then. But we should do it only with our most trusted friends and family and not at work or in public.
For a brand to be a powerful sales tool, we need to live it consistently.
Thank you to the book’s publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.