How to globally triumph through Personal Branding

By Sabine Zettl

Imagine this:

A man in his best age, grey hair, grey beard sitting in a restaurant. He is wearing white tennis socks, shorts with pockets that he could survive a 10-day camping trip with, flip-flops, a colorful-checkered short sleeve shirt, on top of a crocheted orange tie, wearing a ridiculous baseball cap with the words “I am too cool for this world”.

He is eating a burger where half of the ketchup and mayonnaise is landing on his shirt. While he is trying to get rid of the spots by rubbing Coca-Cola on it  … SHE comes sailing into the restaurant.

Tall, elegant, dazzling, gorgeous, with a charisma that captures him on the spot and leads to even more spots landing on his shirt as he cannot close his mouth.

He feels butterflies in his whole body and he knew right away: here she is, the woman he has been looking for all these years and although he tried very hard by experiencing a lot, he failed to meet her. He stands up, trying to cover the spots on his shirt by the crocheted tie, pulling up his white socks, repositioning the ridiculous cap and walks towards her.

“Hi, my name is George Clooney, I was voted the sexiest man alive, won three Golden Globes and I am the most looked after bachelor on this planet. I had the honor to consult President Obama in environment questions and I was invited to the White House for a Gala Dinner. May I ask you on a date?”

What do you think Amal Alamuddin would have answered?

What is the conclusion of this story? Why is “How You Show Up Matters” so important?

  1. Even though we shouldn’t, we do judge a book by its cover.
  2. It is scientifically proven that we have 3 seconds to make a first impression and that it is very hard to correct it.
  3. It’s not only what you are wearing that defines people’s perception, but more so your manners, the way you talk, what you say, your scent, your body language. People can ‘smell’ if you are confident in what you are doing, or if you have doubts about it.
  4. If you want to be successful in business and help others, there is only one way to go.

Before you even start with a business plan, detox yourself on the inside so you can shine on the outside.

Who you are, what your values are, what difference do you want to make, why are you doing what you are doing, what is your message, what are you passionate about, what are your beliefs?

Detox all the clutter of false and destroying mindset sentences, be clear about who you are and what you are standing for.

If you are not branded in today’s competitive and digital world, where everybody can get anything in an instant, you are at risk to fail.

Have you ever wondered why one person is successful and the other person, with exactly the same expertise, has a hard time to find any clients? The simple answer to that is a lack of Personal Branding.

A missing Personal Branding is not to be praised as an act of humbleness and carrying more for others than for yourself, no, the opposite is the case. It’s an egoistic move to not share your message and wisdom with others and thus help them. It is not only important how you show up but foremost that you show up!

Personal Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room, and while it is a lifelong process to work on your Personal Branding, it can be destroyed in 5 minutes.

It is utterly important that the message you are standing for is aligned with your outer appearance in regard to behavior, manners, actions, and with whom you surround yourself with privately and in business.

If you are running a vegan restaurant, but take on an advertising deal for a burger chain, that makes you not very reliable to your guests and will sooner or later destroy your business.

While ‘Style and Image’ is only one aspect of Personal Branding, it is true that clothes can either make or break you: as the story above made it pretty clear.

People are subconsciously looking for all kind of reasons to not do business with you and a pair of not polished or worn-out shoes in business can break a deal. How should your business partner trust you with his business if you even cannot take care of your shoes?

Personal Branding requires a situational awareness for the various international cultures, e.g. while it would be o.k. to frenetically shake hands with the President of the United Stated and pet shoulders, when you are invited for a dinner in the white house, it’s not a good idea when you get an audience with the pope or are invited at a reception by the Queen.

Personal Branding not only makes you visible to the world but more so makes it easier for your customer to trust you. Therefore, it is not only completely o.k. but almost badly needed that you show the world who you are, that you talk about the projects you are working on, that you share your story, dreams and successes with the world to inspire others to do the same. – Sabine Zettl

People buy from people they can rely on and identify with. Personal Branding gives your customer an idea of who you are, what your values are and what you stand for. People love consistency, a frame and recognizability.

If you want to make a difference in the world with your message and expertise, you have to start with branding yourself first.

Amal Alamuddin (now Clooney) is not only admired for her exquisite taste and fashion outfits and her show-stopping charisma. She is also well known and recognized for her legal engagement in human rights and one of the most talented lawyers of her generation.

George Clooney was not only the world’s most thought after bachelor and a great actor but also a successful businessman. He is also noted for his political and economic activism.

Detox on the inside and shine through on the outside. Be aware of every step and move you are making. Be a role model in kindness, humanity and a business role model and inspire others to start and continue on their Personal Branding to make the world a better place.