Personal Branding Personas that will Always Work
This article began its life under the title Personal Branding Personas for 2016, but as it started taking shape, it soon became clear that personal branding personas are not exactly date-related. They either work or they do not and it has nothing to do with the year, or even the decade. In fact, one might argue that personal branding personas existed long before personal branding or even marketing were introduced as a concept.
Because of this timelessness of the personal branding personas, this article was renamed and concerns personas that have simply been identified as successful in turning a personal brand into a popular and even famous one.
The Infallible is quite possibly the first personal branding persona that was ever “invented” or adopted. It is the simplest persona there is and the reasons why it is effective are also extremely straight-forward. If someone does not make mistakes and always does the right thing, it is easy to trust them. Someone like that usually does not have difficulties convincing other people of their point of view, which can come in very handy in innumerable situations. That being said, it is a difficult persona to maintain since every little mistake can become the crack that shatters the entire image.
Everyone loves the Underdog. It is not an American thing or even a Western thing. The Underdog is extremely easy to identify with because the vast majority of us feel like odds are stacked up against us and that we are constantly having to push and fight for things that others do not have to. This is true even for those people who have it relatively easy. Most of us see ourselves as underdogs and we relate immediately to the Underdog. There is a reason why Rocky won the Best Picture in 1976 instead of Network.
For some reason, the Jerk persona also works quite well, especially in certain industries. The mechanisms behind it are probably more complex than those of rest of the personas, but no one can deny that the Jerk can be a successful one. We probably think that this person must be very good at what they do in order to be able to be a Jerk and still succeed. One of the finest examples of this is Tim Sykes, a day trader who has, according to himself, adopted the persona of the “rich douche bag”. It simply works for him.
Another personal brand persona that we encounter very frequently is the Teacher, someone who is always ready to share their expertise and help people become better at something they do. It is not limited to only one industry or one field. You will find the Teacher in pretty much every field, usually having a hidden motive behind their willingness to teach and illuminate. Of course, there are also genuine teachers who find their purpose in making others better. These people are not personas; they are the genuine article.
This has nothing to do with politics, do not worry. This has to do with following trends and being ready to voice one’s opinions without fearing what others might say. The Independents do as they please, they say what they mean and they do not bother themselves with the opinions of others. Even if they do, they make it their business not to show it. The Independent persona can be quite taxing, but it can also instill a huge following that will be far stronger than with any other persona.
AUTHOR: James D. Burbank has spent years in marketing, both traditional and online and he has been blogging about his experiences and insights for some time now. Check him out on Twitter – @JBurbank2019.
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