Skip to main content

How To Create And Live A Powerful Personal Brand

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. 


Popular posts from this blog

How To Be A More Human Leader

  “To be most effective in today’s environment, leaders must be human leaders. Human leaders must be able to lead not only with their heads but also with their hearts and souls,” says veteran executive coach Hortense le Gentil , author of the new book, The Unlocked Leader: Dare to Free Your Own Voice, Lead with Empathy, and Shine Your Light in the World .  She adds, “In addition to being respected, seen, and valued, employees also seek leaders who feel human, not distant and perfect beings with whom they can’t connect.”  Additionally, leaders need to put the collective interest before their own and work hard to make other people’s good ideas happen.  “And although the book focuses on leadership at work, each of us is a complete individual, not a sum of separate, isolated parts. As such, the process presented in the book applies to all areas of your life,” shares the author.  She further explains that becoming a human leader is a journey, not a destination. Accordingly, the boo

A Guide For How To Dream Big And Win In Business

In Dream Big and Win , author Liz Elting shares the lessons she learned ― both the successes and failures ― while building a billion-dollar company from scratch. She explains why you need not only passion and purpose to win big, but also: a willingness to take decisive action grit sweat equity determination positive attitude Elting’s fascinating story began with her entirely self-funded business launch that started in a dorm room. By possessing a disciplined set of principles and focusing on carefully developing her leadership skills throughout the process, she was able to achieve her goal of becoming #1 in the translation market that was already dominated by established competitors. Today, Elting is the Founder and CEO of The Elizabeth Elting Foundation, which creates scholarship opportunities for entrepreneurial young women, funds exciting women-led startups and social businesses, and supports women-led organizations that foster women’s success through educational prog

Today's Fostering Better Connections Tip For Leaders

Today's great leadership advice comes from the recently released book, Thrive With A Hybrid Workplace , by Felice B. Ekelman, JD and Julie P. Kantor, PhD . They explain that: " Leaders need to facilitate connections with their teams . Two parallel tracks are operating: the work track and the personal track. Bosses who only focus on getting the work done generally have teams with poor morale, limited engagement, higher absenteeism, and the like.  Leaders who build interpersonal glue have happier, more engaged, and more productive employees," say the authors. Therefore, they suggest you do the following to build your own interpersonal glue with your direct reports and the team at large : Create rituals at the beginning and the end of the day. Do virtual or live walk-arounds. Regularly schedule check-ins. Add additional check-ins as needed. Take a walk with an employee. Build in pre-meetings. Use ice breakers. Encourage networking. Create special-interest groups. Create a m

Five Crucial Actions That Build Unity And Foster Performance

“Given the research-validated outcomes and demonstrated financial impact belonging offers, organizations should make cultivating belonging a personal leadership imperative across the world,” says Brad Deutser , author of the new book, Belonging Rules: Five Crucial Actions That Build Unity and Foster Performance .   Furthermore, belonging predicts job satisfaction, engagement, and effort over and above employee’s perceptions of organizational culture or strategy, explains Deutser.   So, what exactly is belonging? It’s:   Belonging is where we hold space for something of shared importance. It is where we come together on values, purpose, and identity; a space of acceptance where agreement is not required but a shared framework is understood; where there is an invitation into the space; and intentional choice to take part in; something vital to a sense of connection, security and acceptance.   As you read the book, you’ll discover vital information about the five Belonging Rules :

Leader's Playbook For Perpetual Innovation

  For over twenty years, Dr. Behnam Tabrizi has taught organizational transformation at Stanford University in its Executive Program, which he also directs. And now he’s written, Going on Offense: A Leader’s Playbook for Perpetual Innovation .  In a seven-year study, Tabrizi found that companies that focus their energy on building a supportive, purpose-driven culture that keeps people on edge, and boldly adapts to new environments are the companies that truly excel.  “Most companies pray for one innovation to skyrocket their growth. But the secret to success for the most innovative and agile companies is not just one good idea, rather a dedication to perpetual innovation and relentless experimentation that pulses through an organization, top to bottom,” explains Tabrizi.  His new book provides an insider view into the drivers of success and challenges in 26 organizations—including industry giants like Apple, Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks—along with actionable advice on

Brilliant Careers Are Built With Bold Moves

  “There are two pieces of debilitating thinking that hold women back: The first is waiting to be noticed or appreciated. The other is not taking a risk to apply for a new job or opportunity, believing that they do not have enough experience or skills sets,” according to Christie Hunter Arscott , author of the book, Begin Boldly .   In Begin Boldly , Hunter Arscott turns this thinking on its head. She encourages women to treat their career like an investment portfolio with early deposits of bold moves, courageous actions, and informed risk.   “One thing I know for certain that I wish to impart to you: Brilliant careers are seldom built without bold moves ,” says Hunter Arscott. “Despite recognizing the benefits of making bold moves, most women—especially those early in their careers—struggle to harness the power of risk-taking.”   Speaking about the book, Hunter Arscott states that it will equip you with the tools to navigate the workplace strategically and successfully, de

Effective Listening: Do's And Don'ts

Here are some great tips from Michelle Tillis Lederman's book, The 11 Laws of Likability .  They are all about: what to do and what not to do to be a leader who's an effective listener : Do : Maintain eye contact Limit your talking Focus on the speaker Ask questions Manage your emotions Listen with your eyes and ears Listen for ideas and opportunities Remain open to the conversation Confirm understanding, paraphrase Give nonverbal messages that you are listening (nod, smile) Ignore distractions Don't : Interrupt Show signs of impatience Judge or argue mentally Multitask during a conversation Project your ideas Think about what to say next Have expectations or preconceived ideas Become defensive or assume you are being attacked Use condescending, aggressive, or closed body language Listen with biases or closed to new ideas Jump to conclusions or finish someone's sentences

6 Ways To Seek Feedback To Improve Your Performance In The Workplace

Getting feedback is an important way to improve performance at work. But sometimes, it can be hard to seek out, and even harder to hear.  “Feedback is all around you. Your job is to find it, both through asking directly and observing it,” says David L. Van Rooy, author of the new book,  Trajectory: 7 Career Strategies to Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be . As today's guest post, Van Rooy offers these  six tips for how to get the feedback you need to improve performance at work . Guest Post By David L. Van Rooy 1.       Don’t forget to as k :  One of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming things are going perfectly (until they make a catastrophic mistake). By not asking, you’re missing out on opportunities for deep feedback: the difficult, critical feedback that gives you constructive ways to improve. 2.       Make sure you listen :  Remember, getting feedback is about improving your performance, not turning it into a “you versus the

10 Quotes From The 5 Levels Of Leadership -- John C. Maxwell

Soon I'll post my full review of John C. Maxwell's latest book, The 5 Levels of Leadership .  In the meantime, here are some of my favorites quotes from the book that I believe should become a must-read book by any workplace/organizational leader: Good leadership isn't about advancing yourself.  It's about advancing your team. Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others. Leadership is action, not position. When people feel liked, cared for, included, valued, and trusted, they begin to work together with their leader and each other. If you have integrity with people, you develop trust.  The more trust you develop, the stronger the relationship becomes.  In times of difficulty, relationships are a shelter.  In times of opportunity, they are a launching pad. Good leaders must embrace both care and candor. People buy into the leader, then the vision. Bringing out the best in a person is often a catalyst for

How To Show Genuine Interest In Your Customers

Author  Steve Curtin , in his book,  Delight Your Customers , suggests you and your employees do these  12 things to express genuine interest in your customers : Offer personalized greetings Use names Practice assertive hospitality Ask questions Cosset Anticipate needs Remember preferences Pay attention to details Display a sense of urgency Solicit feedback Offer personal farewells Follow up on service