In times of (and don’t you just love these fancy phrases?) increased ambiguity and significant dislocation, it’s an opportune time to build your personal brand — substantially, properly and, down the line, profitably.
Let me explain how.
In any period of uncertainty or high ambiguity, people look for the adult in the room. The substantial, value-add person who knows what to do, how to act, where to be, to what extent to worry.
Essentially, everyone is looking for the “who” who will provide the what, where, when, why and how.
To be blunt, they want to be a follower and subscribe to and align themselves with a leader.
Thus, these times of uncertainty, dislocation and ambiguity become great times as a matter of substance on which to build your personal brand.
The important question to ask yourself is are you going to be a lighthouse or a weather vane?
Will you blow with the wind wherever it blows, and thus all you’re doing is largely telling everybody what they already know?
Or, as my daughter would say in reference to the popular movie Mean Girls: “There’s a 30 percent chance that it’s already raining.”
Or will you be a lighthouse? A permanent, grounded, solid structure that will send signals, illuminate the path forward, safely guide everybody as to where they should go and not go?
In case it’s not clear which I think you should be… be the lighthouse.
The key to this style of personal brand is planning for longevity. Now is the opportune time to build a strong personal brand foundation, with the understanding that everything, in the long run, will return to normal.
Right now, people have more time. They’re not commuting. The “screen time” alert they receive once a week keeps rising (or is that just me?). They’re online more often and their social media use is rising. All this provides an opportunity to be the voice of reason/adult in the room that they want to subscribe to and follow.
It won’t always be this way.
The light in your lighthouse can’t turn off once everyone has navigated the uncertain and ambiguous waters. How do you make yourself relevant past these times? Consider that question as you lay the foundation.
I hesitate to use the phrase “take advantage of” because that can be misconstrued. For lack of a better one, take advantage of current circumstances by doing the right thing in the right way at the right place at the right time, for current peace of mind for you and authors.
Play the right cards now because they will pay mutually beneficial dividends when things get better. You will gain a substantial followership within your marketplace and establish that you are not a follower, but a leader. People will see you as that voice, so when things turn around, you have a whole new market invested in what you have to say.
That is the value of investing in a downturn to take advantage of the uptick that will come, in this personal branding sense.
Your personal brand should demonstrate clear signal value, clear leadership and clear content-driven value that people can align themselves with — emotionally, theoretically, tactically and actually.
Build your brand; build your lighthouse.
Build it as one of solidity, consistency and constancy over time.
It will bring peace to many right now, as well as serve you as things become better in the future.
It always serves to be a lighthouse.