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  • The Five Laws of Being an Interesting Brand

    The strategies and channels we’ve been using are becoming weapons of mass destruction and tools of great opportunity. We’ve seen brands, such as United Airlines, tarnished when a single person produces a YouTube video after a bad customer service experience.  We’ve seen other brands succeed, such as Susan Boyle’s viral bonanza on the internet and the reactivation of Michael Jackson’s brand after death on Facebook and other channels.

    As we move into a world filled with so many choices, there is still one key element to success, “be interesting.” I believe that when you aren’t interesting, you will be passed over you quite easily, like you don’t even exist. When you are interesting, you will develop a following, more recruiters will pay attention to you and you will make more friends.

    A lot of other individuals have become more interesting in the past few years and have seen extraordinary results, such as David Meerman Scott, Louis Gray, Steve Rubel, Jeremiah Owyang, and Rohit Bhargava.  They’ve all combined passion, with knowledge and have used one or more platforms to distribute their brands.  The results they’ve all viewed have been life changing.  You too can become more interesting!

    The five laws of being interesting

    1.  Be active: You have to actually “do things” to be interested.  This does not include sitting on your couch, eating Doritos and sipping on a beer.  By actively getting involved in your community, whether it’s online, offline or both, you can at least appear that you care, which means more people may start caring about you.

    The key is to only focus on communities that you’re actually interested in or to create your own because then conversations will become more genuine and you’ll be able to play to your strengths.  The moment you become inactive, you are boring.  Although, recruiters care about your previous accomplishments, it looks terrible if you’re interviewing and they ask you what you did in the past few months.  If you’re on a date, you will be asked what you do for work and about your person life.  If you can’t answer that question, the date will probably fail.  Being interesting is important in every aspect of your life.

    2.  Be yourself: Your personality is your best and most distinct attribute.  I can’t copy it, nor can any of my readers or anyone else in the world.  It’s easy to not be yourself sometimes because you want to impress someone or you want to fit in with cultural or group norms.  When you start acting like everyone else, you lose the essence and beauty that would actually make people interested in you.  By being yourself, you’re bound to appeal to certain types of people.

    3.  Be aggressive: Don’t join a group and pray that people will just take interest in you.  You need to take initiative!  If you join a group or attend a networking event, you better at least go up to one person and hold a conversation.  Creating a Facebook profile isn’t going to make you interesting because there are over 230 million other profiles, which doesn’t even include fan pages.  What is going to make someone look at your profile over someone else’s?  You need to be aggressive in how you develop your personal brand or someone else is going to steal your spotlight.

    4.  Be passionate: Passion breeds excitement, which stimulates interest.  Everyone needs to have passion for something and if you don’t, you won’t be able to continue along your current path, without being unhappy or questioning yourself.  People will find you more interesting, if they can readily see someone who is happy doing what they’re doing.

    5.  Be visible: The more visibility you have, the more your brand can uncover who is interested in you.  For instance, if you are only known by one hundred people, only a handful might have interest in you, but if you’re projecting your brand to thousands, that pool is much larger and you’ll find more people who care.  This ties back to being aggressive as well.  You need to aggressively promote yourself so that more and more people know about you, therefore you further the chances that people will take interest in you.

    Not everyone will find you interesting

    You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t have to or want to. This goes back to being yourself.  You won’t be fulfilled or have purpose and meaning in your life is you’re always trying to please other people.  Most people, at least the ones that I’ve been surrounded with, are judgemental, so first impressions really count.  Aside from the five laws of being interesting, you have to take interest in yourself!  I’m not saying to be a narcissist, but I am telling you that you’ll need to really care about yourself and invest time in discovering your brand (read Me 2.0 to learn how to do this), if you want others to take interest in you.

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Career Development, Marketing, Networking, Personal Branding, Success Strategies
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