Tag Archives: self branding

The Master Salesmen of Self-Help: Pitching Vague Concepts, Which Can’t be Measured, by Means of Savvy Messages and Emotional Tactics

By James D. Roumeliotis

In a Mad Men episode (Season 5, Episode 12: “Commissions and Fees”) actor Don Draper stated: “What is happiness? It’s the moment before you need more happiness.” Life should be a “do-it-yourself project.” Each level has its obstacles and perks, and you will be required to have a plan in order to navigate through it. With that said, the business of selling hope has been here since the bible. According to Marketdata, estimates are that the self-improvement market was worth $11.6 billion in 2019 ─ profiting off people’s problems. Not totally against this as it may actually help some individuals. However, most of the information provided is far from objective. The extravagant promotions (i.e., hype) utilized to stoke-up interest for the overrated and undervalued costly courses, as well as the 2-3 day “success concerts”, disguised as a business event with secrets to offer, along with all the hoopla on display, seem to be working for their intended target audience ─ mainly those with insecurities and inferiority complexes who believe they have been offered something of value and anticipate getting inspired. Needless to say, not everyone is a good fit for the schemes being sold.

Sadly, the euphoria, from success preaching concerts and sessions, wears off after several days, thus the attendees return to their pre-session selves. Evidently, you can’t be motivated by not being dedicated. Think of what was gained watching/listening to the “masterminds.” Possibly doses of motivation and common sense with a placebo effect.

Sold are also rehashed success “blueprint” programs where methods to become triumphant, on paper ─ in theory are scientifically unproven. Such recommendations are not blanket solutions to everyone’s challenges which one may be actually facing.

Then there are the coaching sessions which most of the time are not conducted by the extremely busy and prohibitively priced charismatic motivational “guru” himself or herself. Instead, the coaching task has been outsourced to a trained soldier who, despite his or her best effort and intention, does not possess the same persona compared to the one who had you sold on the overpriced sessions in the first place.

Master Salesmen at Manipulation & Emotions

There is a big difference between telling people what they like to hear and telling people what they need to hear. The new-age motivational gurus know exactly how to create a sense of urgency. Their charisma, voice inflection, observable passion, stage animation, audience engagement, and presentation skills are traits that create the buzz and draw crowds. They are most certainly very clever in marketing and packaging their personal image/brand. They put on a fancy light show accompanied by dramatic sound designed to evoke an emotional response in oneself creating the belief you are getting transformative change. There is no evidence to support the idea that those types of seminars have long-term positive changes in people attending them. People go to them because there is something about themselves that they want to change. There are other options and modes of therapy that are far less expensive that have been proven to be efficacious (think clinical psychology). What does it mean, for example, “to have a date with destiny”? Feel-good advice is a vague concept and an illusion. It does not solve anything or explain “how to” do something such as to overcome adversities in life or in a business.

Success trainers, income experts, and business coaches preach personal success systems. They supposedly know and share methods/strategies that will help you dream big and achieve your goals along with a substantial income. They do so by encouraging their audience to look at things from a different perspective and to become more attentive to their own talents and abilities. Yet most personal development coaches at motivational events often sell products including courses, books, and coaching. Apart from this, most built their success by selling rehashed advice. 

The Use of Verbal Jujitsu

Straight talk and common sense only go so far. Apparently, sometimes it pays to overcomplicate a simple message by using simple terms into scientific or eloquent lingo as a good way to sell ideas. As a result, this should make the success guru a thought leader or mastermind on that specific subject which in turn will cause his or her reputation and authority to surge. They use this in their favor to communicate to their audience what it must do to achieve success by seeing things from a different viewpoint using vague concepts which can’t be measured. It sounds good!

Alternative and Practical Complimentary Advice

On stage, the ‘Masters at Manipulation & Emotions’ deliver glorified common sense, stirring tales of how they attained success, as well as package their most important concepts and turn them into a compelling manifesto.  On social media, they deliver videos speaking about how they earned their millions. Likewise, those (self-proclaimed) success authorities use remarkably effective strategies to sell them in the form of books, talks and consulting engagements. Essentially, the takeaway from them should be how to approach personal branding with splendor.

Consider that life should be viewed as a “do-it-yourself project.”  Be proactive and responsible for your own destiny. No one has a silver bullet to offer you or do for you what’s necessary to progress in your life. Furthermore, no one owes you anything! Every single one of us (barring those with physical or psychological handicaps) is capable and should be responsible for self-development and for each of our outcomes.

There are some who have stated that they have spent a reasonable amount of money on Tony Robbins books and watched free videos on YouTube. They didn’t spend anything on his costly and at times reworked courses. Perhaps this is how people should learn from such popular motivational personalities. Avoid joining and following pricey cults and simply avoid parting with your money.

As a process, this is how one should essentially consider when working on thyself (from my perspective):

1. Define/find your purpose. Discover what drives you and pursue it…relentlessly.

2. Define your goals (short and long-term).

3. Deconstruct your goals into stages and steps.

4. Create a plan with specific date targets.

5. Execute consistently. Keep pushing yourself!

6. Fail, adjust and improve.

7. Persist until achieved along with the aid of practical resources (a tenacious mindset

    development is an important benefit).

8. Move on to the next.

As a final point, consider applying the SMART goals acronym to assist you in guiding your goal setting. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Details of this here.

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Filed under Business success, lifestyle marketing, Marketing, niche marketing, push marketing

ME, Inc.: The Impact of Personal Branding in Strategic Marketing

By James D. Roumeliotis

I had a striking and might I dare say, haunting thought that continues to stick with me. Some years ago, I met a girlfriend through a dating site. Yes, I know this is not unusual. However, she initially remarked that I marketed myself online as if I was a (human) “product.” Through that pleasant conversation, I wasn’t certain if this was to be construed as a compliment or a criticism. Although my intent was not deliberate, I now understood the power of personal branding.

Today, personal branding is ubiquitous and an essential part of professional and non-professional activism. It isn’t different from product branding and relies on the same critical and analytical eye and criteria to float the “product” in the market. The only difference is that the product in question is “you.”

For example, if you are in the job market, the commodity you are selling is “you”. This also applies if you are seeking a promotion within your organization or whether you’re selling/categorizing yourself as the ideal independent consultant or political candidate respectively. The motives can be one or several.

The Brand Called “(Place your full name here)”
No matter what your name is or who you are, you are engaged in selling an image you wish to portray to a targeted audience. Joe McGinnis in his cutting edge book “The Selling of the President” showed how this could be done effectively. The book focuses on how Richard Nixon was able to “sell” his profile to the American public in 1968.

As individuals, celebrities have pretty much mastered the art of turning themselves into powerful, eye-catching and memorable personal brands. Think Paris Hilton, Madonna, George Clooney, and Donald Trump. Even President Barack Obama, during his campaigns, demonstrated how to take an unknown quantity and build a persuasive persona.

What Can We Learn from Them?
To start with, it’s not a one-off event but rather an ongoing process.  Companies constantly bombard us with messages and adverts for precisely this reason. To keep us reminded of their brand and thus reinforce their brand equity.

Keeping it genuine and delivering on promises is an equally important factor to consider. Your attitude and actions, from start to finish with any task you perform, set the tone for the type of individual you are and what others can expect from you.

Create a Brand Statement and a Value Proposition
Marketers, most notably, product brand managers, create messages about their products or services that encourage us to buy. Those messages tell us attributes about the product and the benefits to us as consumers if we purchase their products/services. Likewise, as a personal brand, you need to develop at least one message about yourself that tells your target market what you bring to the table, the benefits they receive from doing business with you, as well as what attracts them to you.

Your value proposition is all about your competitiveness and should spell out the strengths that surpass your competition. To put your brand to work for you in your job search, you’ll need to pull together all the pieces that make up your value proposition in the marketplace. A vibrant personal brand statement makes it that much easier for those assessing you to get an indication of what you bring to the organization.

Effective Communication Enhances your Brand
Whether you’re a CEO, manager, consultant, entrepreneur, business owner, professional, or even a job seeker, you should have the ability to persuade through your written and verbal messages. This includes giving effective interviews. Effective presentation skills will not only help you sell your ideas and products but will elevate your personal brand.

Management guru, Peter Drucker once stated, “As you move one step up from the bottom, your effectiveness depends on your ability to reach others through the spoken and written word.” This effective quotation not only tells it as it is, but it also tells us a lot about Peter Drucker as an effective management expert and communicator.

Character vs . Reputation
Reputation is what people say or think about you. That’s your personal brand and should be well-preserved. Character, on the other hand, is what you really are. It is crucial that you understand the distinction. It is said that character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. Always deliver on what you promise and if you look after your character, your reputation will look after itself.

What does Personal Branding Entail?
For personal branding to be effective, it requires managing perceptions
effectively. This encompasses several characteristics including:

– Be Unique and Remarkable in what you do by differentiating yourself from the mainstream. In today’s crowded and competitive world, we need that extra something that sets-us apart. Be distinctive, daring and acquire a competitive edge. After all, it’s a “dog-eat-dog” environment and survival of the fittest. No
matter what you do, you don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.

– Grooming and Clothes: — They are the packaging of your total image. The way you dress and groom says a great deal about you — whether you’re doing so out of necessity or doing it with flair, one can usually distinguish the difference. Watching your appearance also makes you feel good about yourself.

– Etiquette: — It forms a part of human interaction skills, is a strong indication of a refined person and proper upbringing. It should be applied in everyday life in a civilized society. In addition, Respect is esteem of a person, a personal quality and ability to demonstrate it to others through deeds.

Social Networking: Is it going to be Facebook, LinkedIn or Both ?
LinkedIn is the number one professional network, whereas, Facebook is presently the largest personal network with over three billion active users worldwide. Each has its unique purpose. Whether you’re a job seeker, consultant, and entrepreneur or happily employed, LinkedIn can be an incredible asset for your career or business. You can connect to over 800 million professionals in over 200 countries around the world. This is a cyber venue where a polished profile with a professional-looking photo and error-free text should be the only acceptable standard. It’s a portrait of you and your brand. It’s also where you will be importing your contacts and growing your network through new connections. In contrast to LinkedIn, Facebook is geared more toward socializing purposes with friends, relatives and acquaintances.

Many  companies are also taking serious notice whose idea is to engage with
present and prospective clients. It’s equally important that you are prudent and selective with the type of content and photos you place on your page as anyone can come upon it through searches. The message your page conveys will either be positive or unfavorable to your image. Frequent verification and updates on both social networks are recommended. Otherwise, your profiles become stale and unattractive.

Another powerful marketing tool to consider is a blog. Writing articles for your own blog and for others will earn you consideration as a respected expert in your industry and subject matter, which, taken together, will create more credibility for you and increase your presence on the Internet.

In the Final Analysis
Regardless of the business you’re in or message you’re trying to depict to your audience, if you’re going to successfully shape your brand, you need to start by knowing who you genuinely are, then form the image you want to present, and subsequently, behave the part consistently.

Everyone, it seems, has a personal brand, but most people are not aware of this and as a result do not manage it strategically, consistently, and effectively. As your own “brand,” you are the head of “Me Inc.”

How does it feel to be the CEO of your own brand and life?


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Professional Branding Up Close & Personal: Advice for the Private Practice

by James D. Roumeliotis

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For a professional in private practice, the notion of marketing and branding is unfamiliar territory. This is in a similar situation as within any small entrepreneurial company. Yet, this is truly a fundamental aspect of any business. To develop a following requires a brand, and it doesn’t matter if you are a doctor, dentist, an accountant, or an attorney. Your personal “brand” is what comes to mind when your “clients” are deciding whether to see you for the first or not.

Now is the time to get real. Branding is about image and perception. Do not claim to not understand the social networks. Muck right in, however with a special eye to product awareness. Hear yourself scream out, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Trends, here I come.

In principal, a brand is a promise of something that will be delivered by you and your practice. This promise comes in a form of quality, an experience, as well as with a certain expectation in mind. Brands that stand for something connect with customers.

Just as you use brands personify your position, status, and identity when you make decisions about which detergent or automobile to buy so do your clients. Give them something to rely on, something they can sink their teeth into, something which enhances their identity with a positive vibe.

Your credentials have much to do with your image in the consumer’s mind, so does your office ambiance and the courtesy (or lack of) offered the minute your staff greet the patient/client at the front desk. You may also be the doctor with bad breath or architect who is frequently late for appointments.

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