Branding 101: What’s your sales pitch?

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.” -David Ogilvy

Now that I’ve written about the fundamentals of personal branding and the importance of creating your personal mission statement, I’d like to further explore the concept of understanding and developing your “sales pitch.”

The quote above is attributed to David Ogilvy, one of the trailblazers in modern advertising. Ogilvy was a savvy businessman who understood that his clients developed some of the most useful products ever brought to the marketplace (including Schweppes beverages, Rolls-Royce and Dove soap). Ogilvy was also a shrewd marketing genius who understood that these world-class products could not sell themselves…they had to be presented to an audience in such a way that made them appealing.

Similarly, you must be shrewd enough to understand that your peers and followers can’t learn of your talents and skills through osmosis – you have to show and tell what you’re capable of doingIn sales, we call that the “sales pitch” – the statement (verbal or implied) that demonstrates how our products or services will help you overcome your challenges.

You can’t convey your personal brand without demonstrating your attributes, so:

  • Be visible inside AND outside of your organization – be willing to put yourself AND your talents on display
  • Volunteer to lead project teams in your area of expertise
  • Mentor new hires and colleagues
  • Join professional associations and contribute your knowledge and expertise
  • Market yourself and your skills to your colleagues and network of associates

There’s a fine line between arrogance and assurance, but don’t let that stop you from being proud of and demonstrating your talents, abilities, gifts, and skills. You certainly don’t want to be known as the office braggart or the leader who can’t stop talking about themselves. You do, however, want to be known as someone who is highly recognizable, inspires trust and loyalty, and is a promise of value. If you’re truly the CEO of You, Inc. you have to be comfortable and willing to sell your most important resource…YOU.


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