Building Your Brand: Little Acts Of Kindness

Coming back to building your brand, here is something that people don’t realize sometimes:

Remember, you are your own personal brand ambassador. What does that mean?

When you see famous celebrities represent brands, they are meant to show values of that brand, or be an example of what that brand stands for. In the same way, you represent your own values or principles or whatever it is you stand for.

Today we are around in a world where our lives are all the more open to others – every word we post, every picture we share on Facebook, every time we tweet about something, and everywhere we go… it’s all open to judgement and scrutiny. We are leaving a digital trail behind ourselves. Little things we do or say can often come back to haunt us years later. Instances abound of people being fired due to tweets, videos, or pictures they have posted online.

While this is a sobering fact in itself, this openness and transparency in itself also presents us a great opportunity to brand ourselves as well.

There was a great saying I read somewhere: “So live that you would not be ashamed to give your parrot to the town gossip”.

To illustrate this point further, let me give you another interesting example:

A king is a king – whether he is lying in bed in his pajamas, or he is sitting on the throne in all his regal splendor. So is an actor.

The thing is – for us who are brand ambassadors (even of our own personal brands), there is no ‘offstage’. You are building your brand – whether you know it or not – on candid camera, and every act, word, expression is being recorded and will be reviewed and judged – online.

Here is an anecdote that points it out beautifully:

They were going to choose the next US ambassador to Britain, and there were to contenders for the post. The President looked at the name of the first one, and he said, “No, he is not the one”. And he went on to tell the story of a seemingly insignificant event that took place long ago.

At the time, he was a young man, and he and this contender were sitting in a bus. There was an old lady who got on, carrying a heavy basket of laundry. The contender saw her plight, but pretended to ignore her, even though he was sitting nearest to her. So the future president got up and offered his own seat to her. The woman sat down relieved.

But this one act of selfishness being forever etched in his mind, the US president chose the other candidate for the post of US ambassador to Britain.

That just about sums up the idea perfectly. If you’re building your brand online, build a reputation of being someone who always helps others, and pays it forward.

And then, simply invite the town gossip over to have tea with your pet parrot and go take a nap! 😉

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