Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass

Is your Reputation Congruent with Your Personal Brand?

March 24, 2022 Jon Michail Season 1 Episode 29
Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass
Is your Reputation Congruent with Your Personal Brand?
Show Notes Transcript

Socrates once said, “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear.” It is essential to know your goals and how you seek to appear in your professional circle. Are your personal and professional goals being met with utmost efficacy?

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Music: Have a Smoke by Crowander (CC BY 4.0)


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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of Image Group International and an award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old-school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies, and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques, and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image, and reputation.

Hello, today we will discuss if your reputation is congruent with your personal brand. Before we start, I kindly ask you to rate the show on Apple Podcasts. If you do, please send us a confirmation email. And we will send you an e-book, The Real World Guide to authentic personal branding. Cheers.

So let's start the show. Socrates once said The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear. So it is essential to know what your goals are before you start on this track, and how to seek to appear in your professional circles. So a question I have for you. Are your personal professional goals aligned? Are they congruent? And are they achieving what you're hoping to achieve? In other words, are your goals coming to fruition?

So today, I will share with you some tactics to discover if your reputation is congruent. This is a very touchy subject because most people would never in their lifetime, go down this track. Unless they normally been sort of caught out in trouble. You know, and they've had feedback on their reputation. So they might go into self-discovery around what their reputations on about, you know what people are saying about them. But also, generally, if they obviously need to go deeper in a reputation, find out more about what people think of them is if they are potentially going for a pitch or an interview. And you know, they obviously hope that they're going to make first impressions. And if there is any negatives on their reputation, they want to fix that up. So the first thing you got to do is you know, check your interactions with your audiences. And get really clear, you know what they think of you and it's a courageous step to ask people, what they actually think of you from a reputational point of view, because it's not uncommon that if somebody does respond to you with some negatives, then obviously you might feel devastated. So this is important, though, because from an authenticity point of view, the clearer you get, you know, trusting your gut in reference to that, because if there is aspects to your reputation, that are not congruent, you can always correct them. Now, let's understand what does a bad reputation is due to your personal branding? You know,, there's a sign out there that specifically says if you sleep with dogs, you'll catch flees. So that means, you know, you're going to investigate all aspects of your reputation from a personal point of view, of course, but also about your environment. And your environment also plays a key to how you're perceived, from a personal point of view from a career point of view. And of course, from a business point of view. So the things you want to understand about what a bad reputation will do to you is actually, potentially, it will destroy your spirit. Because a bad reputation goes against, you know, your, your sense of well being. And the good thing about it is though, is you know, like I noted earlier, you can correct it, your personal reputation, if it was negative, let's say in an incongruent to your personal brand name, because it's so terribly different, you know, with the right positioning, with the right strategies, tactics, and so on your personal branding could be telling the world one thing, and at times, you know, your personal reputation, especially to your inner circle, could be something different. The idea here is to make it congruent, because if you're not congruent with what you put out to the world, and what you are on the inside, eventually I think you're going to go crazy. So the key here is that to get that, right, obviously, it has an impact on your personal life, in relationships, it has on your career and you know, leadership opportunities of promotions that would come from that. And of course, from a business point of view, it has with, you know, sales clients and wealth creation, so has a big impact and we all know this because, in my experience, you know, having worked with myriad 1000s of people over the last 30 years, I can clearly share this with you. I've had clients that virtually through their personal reputation damage over time because it did not correct, that was suicidal. In other words, I remember a client specifically that lost millions of dollars from bankruptcy in business. And when he saw me, he actually wanted to kill himself. He was seriously thinking of suicide. And the conversation there was walk, you know, spare things happen. Okay? But how serious are you right now in transforming aspects of your life? So he made the decision at that time, that he actually wanted to live and recreate himself. And that's exactly what we worked on. 

So we know that you know, if your reputation gets attacked, gets tainted, it's a serious problem psychologically, and we know from all the research and data in history, that that's actually not, you know, a positive thing for you to happen, but it's not the end of the world. You know, and I want to leave this with a positive that everything can be certain, you know, reframed, recreated and transform, as long as the person is authentic, when they come to that position that they are, you know, that they are really serious about transforming as opposed to just, you know, words and the actions are not congruent. So if you really want to, you know, transform that it's all possible, I suppose that's, you know, something I want to leave you with? Second is when you attract new clients, ask them, Why do they want to work with you? What is it that drew you to them? You know, was it your values? Was it your passion? Was it your communication style? Get really clear about that, because that will start giving you some real insights? And of course, it's okay. And this is the thing about reputation, you don't have to be perfect here. reputation and personal brand, it's I can have some, you know, kinks into it, you know, that that's an indication that you've been human. But ask them why they want to work with you, you know, what, what's your differentiation? What makes you unique? What is, you know, what is it? What is it that they pick, you, as opposed to the myriad of other professionals that they could have picked? This is very important because it's gonna possibly give you some more insights into yourself as well. And you might want to do this also with past clients, you know, or current clients, and, you know, asking them from the point of view of being authentic look, just give me some feedback. What do you think, you know, my reputations, like in the marketplace, do you think I'm congruent with my personal brand, etc. And if you want to get even more, you know, more, I suppose personal, you can do that with people that are really close to you, including your partner, you can even do it with your children if you have children. So there are different ways to sort of test this out. Of course, if you're, you know, a bigger organization, or you want to play a bigger game, you can even do focus groups on this. But you know, what I've discovered is asking people directly, asking them to be authentic, is normally the best way to go is even on focus groups, at times, you know, people just, at times give you responses that aren't always true. We're hoping with people that you trust you like, you know, they sort of trust and like you as well, hopefully, you'll get more of the truth. That's what I suggest. Anyway. The next one also is basically, if you have heard any negative, you know, responses about you and your personal brand reputation from others, or it's happened in the past, then you might want to ask him also, what do you think, you know, I could be doing differently in the future. And it might be something like, you know, your reputation comes across as very aggressive, for instance, you know, and some people might see something as aggressive when actually you're, you know, attempting to be assertive. So it's a real fine line about getting the distinctions between the two, right, but aggressive, obviously, normally is, you know, a power over as opposed to assertive is really more equilibrium. And there's no sense of, you know, you're trying to sort of come over people. So it's a combination of, you know, getting the positive aspects of you out there. Because if you're a layperson, and you're out there to build a reputation, and you're doing that specifically without any other tools I use Social media and other aspects of comms like mainstream media, then sure, you can build a great reputation, but it will take you 30 years, it will take you a lifetime, you know, where you can basically do a lot of things in reference to that a lot quicker today because of technology. And the relevance and importance of this is because if things are changing so quickly, now, you want to utilize all the opportunities to, you know, build yourself and build yourself out there. And also, of course, leverage on your personal brand. And at the same time, your reputation, because if you don't do that, you're doing it the slow way. Now, if you lack ambition, for anything, including life, then obviously what we're sharing with you is probably not going to be relevant. So you've got to have some ambition element in you, you know, some intention that you that, you know, that says, I want to go out and create something really, really positive. I'll deal with also the negatives. I'm not afraid of that. But ask people you know, to be real with you and give you some honest feedback, because I can tell you, most people today, especially due to political correctness has gone insane, as I've shared previously, I'm not going to tell you the truth, they're going to tell you versions of the truth that they want you to know, unfortunate, but true. And lastly, a question you want to ask is to determine where your current work and potential proposals come from? You know, are they from a warm referral? Or are they from cold online, this is very important, again, because that would indicate them from a referral point of view, if they are coming from past clients, current clients, etc? That's a real positive on your reputation. Obviously, it could be from a personal point of view, but also from a personal or a business branding perspective. So ask him, you know, ask him, where have you heard about us? Why did you come to me as again, you know, you had the opportunity to go somewhere else. And ask him also, specifically, what are the differentiations that made you stand out from everybody else, and it could be a product, you know, it could be the quality of the product, whatever, but get really clear about that. Because you'll be able to sort of, again, other than feel good about some of the feedback you're gonna get, but also build on that and get better. Let me share with you how I helped the client align that personal brand with reputation. He was a famous elite sportsperson. Basically, he was at the top of his game. Everything was going his way. The media loved him. He purposely cultivated the media, because he had a great personality, but also, you know, the locks and the build to support that obviously been in the lead sportsperson. So his public face was fantastic, extraordinary, won many awards along the way, I'm not going to give too much more away other than say, you know, he certainly played a bowl sport. But what happened was, in his personal life, he was a disaster. And from a disaster point of view, what was going on in his personal life was constant.

Playing up getting drunk, potentially doing drugs. And also, of course, having affairs that really took away from his partner that he was with, obviously, on a permanent basis. And eventually, you know, like most things, you can only hide it for so long. So his brand in the marketplace was late, it was fantastic. But his reputation from a personal point of view was incongruent. Because, you know, after a while, doesn't matter how much you mates and so and so hey, you're really cool doing what you're doing. You know, after a while, you're going to be, you know, you're going to be seen as a loser. If you're constantly been in Congress because you can only get away with doing that for so long. And most people, even if you want to, you know, sound cool, from the perspective of you know, he had the looks in the bill, you can go and play up you're gonna he had all his women in his life. The reality was, no one respected him for that, including his close mates and I found that Leila certainly was not the image that he thought of him what they actually told him to his face. So there was a real incongruency there. So what we did was we worked really hard in just you know, going back to his personal values. Going back to specifically around, you know, how he saw himself. And how a lot of this created a lot of pain to him and obviously wasn't easy for him because for somebody elite, to sort of open up their heart and deal with that is not easy, what normally happens and this is common is people cover it up. So what they do is instead of dealing with it, they go out and do more branding, you know, more imaging, okay. And more, what I would call is reputation laundering, you know, to look and as opposed to really deal with what needs to be dealt with, because if you know, if you don't deal with it, eventually it will come back to bite you, it's only a matter of time, it could be 10 years, 20 years, could be 50 years, right. But it's not a positive way to live, because you're incongruent with your integrity with what's inside you. So this guy had, after some work, decided to get really courageous, and also brave from the perspective of, you know, putting himself out there and decided to start doing some self-analysis, including, by the way, getting rid of some friends, it's a bit like, you know, what Thomas Fuller said, a wise man, my look ridiculous in the company of fools, you know, meaning if you're hanging around with falls, as well make no mistakes, before you know it, you'll start the act, you know, communicate, and of course, be seen as a fool. So started cleaning up his life. And I could proudly say that, you know, after 18 months of work, because as I said, we had to work internally as well, the guy became a new person, and of course, you know, got his life back on track. So that's, that's a, you know, that's a big success story, it doesn't always become so easy, because as I mentioned, you know, reputation and ego, associate closely aligned. And if you have shame issues, around your reputation and personal shame, then definitely you can't paper that over, you need to have a bit more of a soft discovery session with yourself. And of course, with a professional to at least, you know, get rid of some of that baggage from the past, and gives you the opportunity to clean yourself up, you know, and come clean moving forward. So as a success story, and it was one of the numerous success stories we've had, including, of course, you know, business people that have had a bad reputation after bankruptcy, where they thought, as I mentioned earlier, it was the end of the world. And of course, you know, other others, including executives, that have had a marriage breakdown or a partner breakdown. And really, they wanted to reposition themselves, including, you know, for online dating, and the new world of social media. It's all relevant. The intention here is really how committed are you to being in integrity with yourself. And your reputation, of course, is one thing that is all about equity. And as we know, throughout history, they say, you know, obviously, without a good reputation, you know, no door will open for you. So it's essential, we get that right, and of course, in alignment with your personal brand that the two sort of speak the same language.

Well, that's it for today. Remember, your reputation is a reflection of your personal brand, if it's going to be congruent, and if it's not congruent,  people will see your value once you recognize your value first. So it's essential that you value yourself first. And that means becoming congruent with what you're presenting to the world. Thank you for listening. If you need my help or your reputation or personal brand, please email me and I'll be happy to work with you. The email is on the description of the episode. You can also find me on social media. You can follow me on Twitter at John underlined Michael on LinkedIn as John Michael and on Facebook as image Group International. Thank you all and I look forward to chatting again next week. Cheers.

Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass" Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists, based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world.   To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops please visit or call 1800 631 311.