Earlier this year I wrote a post about standing out from the crowd. One of the steps I mentioned was to be yourself and play to your strengths. The problem is we don’t always recognise our own strengths or know how to use them to our advantage.
How the World Sees You is written by Sally Hogshead, a world class branding expert and award-winning copywriter. Her work led her to believe that the most successful brands were not those that exhibited the greatest strength in a market, but those that emphasised their differences. This can also be applied to people, where the highest performers have a specific personality and over deliver in a particular way.
According to Sally, emphasising your individuality in business gives you an advantage because 1) you are probably the only part of your business that cannot be ripped off and copied, and 2) there are so many distractions in today’s world that to grab people’s attention you have to have something extra to fascinate them. As mentioned in the book: ‘to become more successful, don’t change who you are. Become more of who you are.’ To help you identify this individual ‘something extra’ you have to know how the world sees you at your best.
The way you do this is to discover your Fascination Advantage. This is the way you naturally stand out and the best way you add value to your clients or customers, or to any team you are in.
In Sally’s system there are Seven Advantages that a person has in varying measures. They include things like being creative, connecting on an emotional level, building loyalty, and being meticulous.
The book links to an online questionnaire. Complete this and you receive a report that gives you your Personality Archetype, a combination of your two strongest Advantages out of the seven. The idea is your Personality Archetype shows the way you naturally communicate and you can build your brand and business around this.
I found the naming of the Personality Archetypes mildly amusing in that they make you sound quite heroic or special. For example, you could find yourself labelled as a Maestro, a Wise Owl, or a Connoisseur. It reminded me of the flattering personalities attributed by horoscopes, but I suppose the book is about how the world sees you at your best.
While you might find an accurate summary of your personality uplifting you may also find it a little depressing that you can be put into a specific category. I suppose it depends on how comfortable you are with yourself.
As well as revealing your strengths and helping you market yourself better, the system also claims to help you understand other people and how to communicate effectively with them.
Some of the above may sound a little complex, especially given the use of the unusual terms and labels, but the book is an easy read and the concepts are introduced in a clear manner. It certainly gives food for thought in terms of branding yourself to stand apart from the crowd.
The online questionairre only takes a few minutes to complete and I found the results quite accurate. Judging by the testimonials for the system I am not the only one.
The book is due for release in hardback on 1st July, but you can get an advance copy ebook version here.