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What Can Gary Vaynerchuk And Mrs. Bucket Teach Us About Personal Branding?

Michelle Dale - Friday, September 30, 2011

“Mrs. Hyacinth Bucket” is a fairly well known TV character in the UK played by Patricia Routledge, she is a middle class woman, who has ‘importance’ issues, “the pompous and self-serving central woman obsessed by perfection, image and etiquette” she sees herself as someone who should be moving in certain circles, hosting candlelight suppers and singing opera in her spare time, when in actual fact she is living in an average house, has an average family who live on a council estate, and average friends, and more than anything, a very nice, long suffering, average husband. Mrs. Bucket, pronounced “bouquet” is someone who clearly does not embrace the reality of personal brand. She desperately wanted to be someone she isn’t and she wanted the world to see in her in a certain way, and tried very hard to make sure that happened.

Reality Friday.

Many of you may know that on a Friday I try to do a different style post, sometimes a little more personal, more ‘real’ and not related to my business as such, but still useful, helpful, motivating or insightful. I’ve started to call this day ‘Reality Friday’, basically the posts are a little less formal than the business “How To’s” and other informational style posts which you’ll find on this blog. I do this for a couple of reasons…

Reason #1. I’m where I want to be.

The first reason is that I am so grateful to be able to say that I am at a very happy place in my virtual assistant business, I always do my best, and through this, I have (touchwood) been able to craft and create a harmonious environment with my team and clients. We have an understanding, a trust, and people know that they are in safe hands, I don’t need to sit here in a suit and high heels preaching my business skills 3 times a week, or even feel the need to conflict with other virtual assistants’ ideas or beliefs to prove a point. It’s taken time, and I have really worked hard to develop my business, and the feedback from clients is always positive, despite the occasional Friday frolics on my blog.

Reason #2. I LOVE personal branding!

The second reason is I’m going down the route of personal branding. While some of you may be thinking that my Friday posts are a bold move, perhaps they are exactly what my business needs to give me the edge. With me, generally what you see is what you get. I live an extraordinary life, I’m seriously passionate about my work, and I am not a stuffy old ‘all work no play’ dragon who doesn’t know how to let her hair down and have a bit of fun. I’m laid back, down to earth, but I really care, about my family, my clients, my team, and the virtual assistants who I work with and mentor. I am fully aware that I would be nowhere without the amazing support of everyone around me, colleagues, family and friends.

My fascination with personal branding.

Personal brand marketing was not something I learnt about in my Business Studies class at school, because personal brand and social media didn’t exist then. I was initially thinking that it all had to be very strategic, when in actual fact, it’s about being yourself. All the successful online entrepreneurs I follow have a common method of presentation. Take Gary Vaynerchuk, I find his personality magnetic, and I am naturally drawn to what he has to say, and I listen. There is nothing about him that says he’s trying too hard to create a ‘Perception’ of the way he wants you to see him, because the way he wants you to see him, is exactly the way he is.

The ‘personal branders’ I tend to follow are transparent, they show their vulnerabilities, failures, and their successes, but above all, they market their own ‘unique’ message, and I have never heard any of them put down or rain on anyone else’s parade to be able to do it – that to me is very special. I believe this is the future of Internet marketing. If someone is going to invest in you, your product, your service then they naturally will be curious about you and your background. Not simply how many qualifications you’ve got, and the places you have worked over the years. We are working online in the social media generation, virtually connecting to each other with profiles, ‘likes’, ‘fans’ and ‘followers’ — like it or not, you are in a virtual audition, and you need to be unique to attract your audience. The good news is, no matter what you think, you are unique, your DNA is the only DNA like it on the planet. So this should be easy, you just have to be yourself.

Don’t give away every little detail of your life, of course you need to apply discretion, and you don’t want to bare all to the world, just watch the people who really have personal brand presentation going on, and find your own groove with it. Don’t try to keep up appearances for the sake of it — the people that matter will see through it like a pane of glass. You only have to watch an episode of “Keeping Up Appearances” to know what I mean.

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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