Hiding Your Personal Brand…Until?

So today, I read an article at WomenCo about scaring off potential employers.

The jist of the article is about how you may look great on paper, but your email address, ringback tone or lack of voicemail box may be a turn off.

I have to agree that having an over the top email address may not be something that you want to use professionally, and that not setting up the voicemail box on your cell phone is just asking for missed opportunities.

But the ring back tone, mentioned on  Page 2,  I’m not so sure about.  

Like an email address, I wouldn’t want a potential business partner or employer associating a lewd or racy song with me when they ring my cell, but in the same token, I wouldn’t want them associating “traditional” with me either (as the article suggests).

The article goes on to say that the job seeker can change the ring back tone back to their song after they land the job.

kid2Personally, I like nontraditional.  I like edgy & different.  I want potential business partners and clients to know that they aren’t getting mainstream when they work with me.

In the past, there have been times where I’ve felt that I needed to fit a mold in order to reach my objective.  In most of those cases, I’ve regretted it.  I couldn’t be myself.  I wasn’t listened to or respected.  Because I tried to fit into someone else’s ideas, I ended up frustrated.

I think it can start with a simple ringtone.  Change it to appear traditional…to land the job or client…then put it back to your preference after you convince people to hire you?  I’m not so sure.

I made a decision to just be who I am at all times.  I don’t push the envelope to the point where I can’t be taken seriously, but the truth is, when I show up to an interview or meeting, I will look just like I would going anywhere else.  I’ll have on stilettos, full make-up and rocked out hair.  I’ll be in a convertible and the XM might be just a little too loud.  

None of it has any bearing on the kick-ass results I get for my clients.  

Consider the vendor or service provider who shows up in a Volkswagen bug, listening to  Putumayo world music, wearing no makeup, dressed in a hemp dress and crocs.  What difference does it make?  It’s all just personal preference.  (Surely, I can’t be the only one that likes working with different types of people and personalities…)

I have a new friend whose persona is working in bunny slippers.  I’ve even seen her at a networking event wearing the slippers.  That’s part of her personal brand and she doesn’t hide it.

Do I think that either one of us may lose out on potential business from decision makers based on our personal style preferences?  Perhaps.  But in my case, I probably would have ended up regretting working with them anyway.

It may be because I live in Austin where I find that people don’t really care as much.  Or maybe I’m just idealistic.  Either way, life’s too short to be uptight and judgemental when it comes to stuff like that.  Let’s save it for the real objective – performance. 

My current ringback tone is Independent Woman by Destiny’s Child.  If a potential client calls me, they know right away that the person who is answering the phone is far from traditional.  And that’s the way I want it.

What do you think?  Give me a shout, down below…

One response to “Hiding Your Personal Brand…Until?”

  1. CouchSurfingOri

    I show up to events in a big fuzzy hat, sometimes a zebra-stripe bath robe. My business card has me in a suit on one side, but wearing a “wife-beater” on another, while 4 lingerie models are ripping it off of me. I tell jokes even when one should be serious. I still get hired for projects. I’m a creative type, and I’m not afraid to show it. I constantly push and prod others to be themselves, and I even lecture on how to emphasize your own personal brand & persona.

    In this day and age, people NEED to be themselves. They need to be happy- express who they are, not hide it. When it’s all said and done, not only will you be happier, but you will attract clients that match your persona, and that you can enjoy working with. They’ll appreciate you for who you are– It is better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are not.

    Don’t ever stop wearing those stilettos! 🙂

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