Examples of personal branding are all around us, even on popular television shows, such as AMC’s The Walking Dead. In honor of the show’s season premiere on Sunday, October 13, let’s take a look at the personal branding lessons we can learn from some of The Walking Dead characters.
Rick Grimes – Earn people’s trust
One of the cornerstones of a solid personal brand is the ability to get people to trust you. People buy from or hire people they trust, so when you have a trustworthy personal brand, you are in a better position to attract job offers or clients.
Being trustworthy is certainly a lesson you can learn from Sheriff Rick Grimes. Rick is a natural leader, and even when he is not wearing his sheriff uniform, he evokes trust. His group trusts Rick to make the best decisions, even if Rick is unsure what those decisions should be.
What to ask yourself: How can I earn people’s trust through personal branding?
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Daryl Dixon – Be known for one thing
Personal branding is all about having a trademark – something you are known for. You want to emerge as an expert in your niche so that people respect your knowledge, and eventually offer you more lucrative projects or employment.
Fan favorite Daryl Dixon is known for one thing: being a bad ass. Whether he’s killing walkers with the deadly accuracy of his cross bow or driving his brother’s Triumph motorcycle, Daryl is known for his toughness, strength and survival instincts.
What to ask yourself: What do I want to be known for?
Michonne – Follow your gut
Your personal brand comes from your gut. It’s intrinsic to you. When you dig deep inside your passions and skill sets, you can discover what you want to brand yourself as.
Michonne is an expert at following her gut. Michonne’s gut sounded off like an alarm when she discovered Woodbury and “The Governor.” Her gut instincts also brought her to the prison, where she has become a valuable member of the group. Because she trusts her gut, Michonne has stayed alive and has become part of a community that supports her.
What to ask yourself: What does my gut say about my passions and skill sets?
Carol Peletier– Always keep learning
While you are an expert in your niche, you must always keep learning. Keep your skills sharp and current so you can continue to be a trusted authority.
Look how much Carol has learned over the three seasons of The Walking Dead. When we first met Carol, she was the meek wife of an abusive husband. Now, Carol has learned survival skills that are second to none.
What to ask yourself: How can I continuously learn about my niche so I can improve my expertise?
Glenn Rhee – Be tenacious
Your personal brand is your ticket to greater success. Don’t give up on it. Be tenacious about maintaining a positive image and reputation.
Need help with tenacity? Think about how Glen fought his way out of a room with a walker loose – all while tied up to a chair. Or how Glen roped a walker in the well while it was inches away from Glen’s body. Glen’s tenacity is a great personal branding lesson for us all.
What to ask yourself: What can I do to make my personal brand even better?
The Governor – Be the problem solver
When you have a reputation of helping people solve their problems, your personal brand reaps the benefits. Be a trusted resource by sharing your knowledge, and people will flock to you.
That was certainly the case for The Governor as he built Woodbury. He solved people’s problems by providing them a safe haven, offering help and stability in an apocalyptic world. Of course, underneath the charming demeanor was a psychopath, but you can’t deny that The Governor’s initial problem-solving approach earned him the respect of his fellow townspeople.
What to ask yourself: How can I help solve my audience’s problems?
While The Walking Dead is set in a fictional world, you can still apply real-world personal branding lessons from its main characters. Determine how to be trustworthy and knowledgeable, and how you can help people solve their problems. Also, learn to follow your gut, and never give up on your personal brand.
[Photo Credit: AMC]
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