Light Yourself On Fire And People Will Come To See You Burn

Don’t know if I’d actually hold a match to myself, but I did set my hair on fire once in the kitchen!

And while I was teaching a class last night at a local hospital, an employee’s car burned up in the parking lot.  A large group of spectators started to gather (human nature at work) before the fire department reached the scene.

One thing is certain — Fire grabs and commands attention!

But this post isn’t about setting literal fires, it’s about setting yourself apart from the crowd — creating curiosity and commanding attention in ways that are uniquely yours.

So how do you uncover and use your authentic brilliance to create a powerful personal brand?

1. Know your top five core values.

2. Know your top five strengths (Go to “50 Free Online Tools to Discover Your Strengths, Weaknesses, and Hidden Talents”)

3. List three words that BEST describe you. Keep memory triggers everywhere – on your mirror, computer, the dashboard of your car, in your wallet, etc., as reminders. BE your Descriptors.

4. Clearly define your expertise niche. What is it that you know or do better than anyone else?

5. Remember, emotionally, people are buying YOU as well as your product or service – they’re buying your personality and the lifestyle you represent.  YOU are the brand.

6. Consider the total experience your brand offers – everything from your communications and logos to your customer service and the quality of your products or services.  Your brand is the intangible perception that exists in the mind of the consumer.

7. Select a signature color and use it whenever/wherever possible – tissue paper, note cards, labels, pens, gift boxes, etc.

8. Create a signature talk – a specific topic that you are an expert on and can give valuable information in a thirty-minute presentation.

9. Interview your top ten clients or customers to find out what THEY feel is truly unique about you.

To create a powerful personal brand and to make sure your business doesn’t go up in flames …

Light yourself on fire!

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  • #s 8 – the Signature Speech is something I’m currently working on in a 6-week training and it’s so much more involved than I thought it would be …and I love it! I definitely want to ‘light my fire’ with my Signature Speech so that people will think of me when they need a speaker for their group.

    As I worked at developing my brand I found I liked the golden orange and that’s the color I selected for the header for my three main blogs and my logo is also in that color. No when I redo my business cards and postcards I’ll use the same color for continuity.

    Wonderful recommendations, Melanie. Thank you.

    • I love the orange color on your site, Yvonne — it’s vibrant, like you! 😉

      Great idea to keep the “consistency” in the designing of your marketing materials. You’re going to have to send me a couple of your biz cards when you get them printed — a treasured keepsake for me.

      SO excited to hear you’re taking a “signature speech” course! You’re one of the few online professionals I know who see the value in having a speech ready to go at the drop of a hat. I applaud you! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by to catch this post and for commenting over at LinkedIn,
      Melanie
      xoxo

  • Melanie, could you contact me. I am interested in what you are currently doing.

  • Melanie thanks for the test option. I took it and thought it was very true to the way I am .

    • Good for you, Tina — that’s the spirit!

      I like a gal who jumps right in and takes action. 🙂

      Great to see you here,
      Melanie

  • “It’s important to distinguish who you are rather than extinguish who you are.”

    What can I say, Alex? Spoken like a true wordsmith! And a man who’s on fire! 🙂

    I appreciate you and I’m delighted you stopped by.

  • That’s a fantatastic analogy!
    I always try to set myself on fire,…pyroTechnically speaking of course 😉

    SO basically what you are saying here is that it’s important to distinguish who you are rather than extinguish who you are

  • Mel
    My impromptu speech series will be next.
    I’ll give you some real life examples and strategies that you can use.

    Hang on Mel, impromptu is coming.

  • And all this time I thought you were only visiting sites with dense keywords. LOL! 🙂

    You’re forever a ‘keeper’ in my book, Keith, and I don’t give a hoot about your page rank.

    P.S. Look, I know you’re doing this “video marketing” thing on your blog right now and that’s great. Very timely and popular topic. Smart move on your part and I’m gleaning all kinds of wonderful and valuable video tips. Thanks!

    However …

    I’m still waiting for your “impromptu speech” series and I haven’t forgotten. You opened the door, doggone it! And I’m waiting to walk through.

  • Hi mel
    What matters most is what you bring to the table and how you conduct yourself.
    Agreed, and you conduct yourself so very very well.

    Some sites I visit because they have high pagerank, some sites I visit because I think I should and some sites I visit because I have a good time.

    Guess why I visit “Solo Mompreneur”

  • Hello Keith,

    Toooo true! It’s all about engagement and interaction. And your blog is an exquisite example.

    One of the topics I love writing about and talking to others about is how to brand yourself online. No one cares about the name of your business, your beautiful letterhead or logo, or any of your marketing materials. None of those things really matter.

    What matters most is what you bring to the table and how you conduct yourself. Then the only challenge that remains is whether you will resonate with your target audience or not.

    It may have taken you a while to grasp this concept, but you’ve got it nailed! 🙂

  • Hi Mel
    “Remember, emotionally, people are buying YOU as well as your product or service…”

    Took me ages to realise that but the interaction in the comments on my blog made it very clear.
    Whether we want to or not, we form relationships with other bloggers.
    We comment on the sites of real people and we get to know them… even if only a little.

    Take that interaction away and what are you left with?
    Not a lot.

  • @Deb — You’re never too late to the party and there’s still some cake left. 🙂

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one and zeroed in on #8. Sheila was thinking the same way. It’s always a good idea to have something prepared for those moments you least expect — when someone asks you (impromptu) to share more information than your ‘elevator’ speech includes.

    Thanks for coming over and I LOVE your most recent post! The title is award-winning. 🙂

  • Hi Melanie,

    I’m late to the party here but I wanted to chime in on how brilliant your post is. I also love all of your points but #8 (Create a signature talk) really spoke to me. I love it. And I’m going to work on that. It’s a magnificent piece of advice!

    Really well done! Big hugs!

  • @Steven — I can tell you’re a professional with your head screwed on straight! We all need to strive to become the “go-to” person in our respective niches. Once that happens, it’s much easier to build the trust factor with your target audience and, hence, your credibility gets a big boost. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Brilliant list Melanie! Thanks. Of course each of those points is a craft that requires time, clear goal setting and self-knowledge. I like #4. If we focus on a certain niche and become masters, only then we will be seen as authorities and people will trust us.

  • @Martha — Not only is ‘red’ the color of POWER, it’s the color of ENERGY, and you certainly have an abundance of that!! 🙂

  • Great ideas Melanie! I love the one about using the same color. It’s funny because I got hooked into the red theme because I just happened to have a red jacket on the day my profile pic was made. I didn’t know at the time it would be used for my profile but it worked out that way! Red has followed me around since. I think that’s a power color? LOL

  • @Lauren — Branding is a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun! Sounds like you may have discovered a few tips here to enhance your brand, Lauren. Super! That makes me happy. 🙂

  • @Rhonda — Well, I’d have to say it’s a unanimous vote! Glad you also like the title of this post. 🙂

  • Great post, Melanie! You gave me some fabulous questions to ponder. I am definitely going to tackle them to get to myself and my brand better!

  • Great information Melonie and I absolutely LOVE the title! Thanks for posting!

  • @K’Lee — I’m happy to know this post provided you with a little reminder of something valuable you learned in the past. Now get out there and use this stuff! 🙂 Thanks for the visit.

  • @Lani — You’re quite welcome! And you’re right. It’s absolutely awesome to connect and mastermind with fellow bloggers. Bloggers Bond. 🙂

  • @Mike — Thanks a heap for the shout out! Love your “WordPress Made Easy” site. Looks great!

  • @Lynn — 🙂 Then I will crown you the “Princess of Post-It Notes”! So pleased to hear you enjoyed this post and found some value here. Now get out there and burn, baby, burn!

  • @Sheila — My blog posts and my life go around full circle when you show up. Thanks for coming by! Glad you like the title of this one (was a bit risky, but I took a chance). Didn’t want any of my readers to get burned! 🙂

    Just use the main points in your elevator speech as ‘bullets’ or an ‘outline’ and then expand on that for your 30-minute signature talk. You can do it!!

  • Melanie,

    You are the headline queen. I swear you should be on my payroll.

    You are also a branding queen. Everyone of your branding posts are dynamite. (Now that’s a fire waiting to happen).

    This is great list for identifying and getting yourself known I like the 30 minute speech idea. I have an elevator speech but not a 30 minute speech.

  • Thanks for this great list, Melanie!
    I learned about a lot of these a few years ago in a business course for women entrepreneurs, but had forgotten about applying them to my present freelance business. Thanks for the reminder and the extra tips!
    ~~K’Lee

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  • Diana

    Nice tips.Tky.

  • Aloha Melanie, very nice post and I enjoyed the details. What a catchy title and wonderful verbiage to reflect upon ones business. Glad I came and thanks for sharing! Mahalo, Lanikee.com 🙂

    PS..it’s good to be part of a productive Blogging Mastermind team, with good intentions for each other. Come by and visit me sometime.

  • I’m ready to go up in flames Melanie! Excellent post and amazing analogy! Your tips, advice and the checklist is perfect. I am going to start putting sticky notes everywhere! Thanks Melanie for an inspiring and very motivating post.

  • @Sandra — Appreciate the compliment! And I’m happy you found some value in this post. Stop by again sometime and knock on my door — it’s always open. 🙂

  • @Mavis — Great to hear you’re all ablaze! 🙂 And glad you liked the title of this post. Seems a fire really gets people’s attention! Thanks for stopping by today.

  • This was awesome. I loved the tips here. Some I knew and some I did not. Thank you for writing. I always love to learn and be reminded. It helps me to keep moving in my purpose.

  • Hey Melanie,

    Fantastic post! What an amazing and attention-grabbing title! Well done.

    You are sharing true and tried strategies to build a unique personal brand when building your business.

    As for me, I am on fire! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your insights, Melanie.

    All the best,
    Mavis

  • @Leanne — Without a moment’s hesitation, I would deem you a true expert in self-awareness. Success begins there! And I believe asking others to share what they like best about you brings about lots of surprises and valuable business-building information. Oftentimes, others can quickly and easily recognize strengths and traits about us we can’t see.

    Thanks for the visit, Leanne!

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  • I totally agree, Melanie. I teach a lot about self awareness as a foundation for building your business. The point you made that’s my favorite is getting feedback from others about what they see as my uniquenesses (is that a word??). It’s a really useful activity.

  • @Dani — Good thing you had an extinguisher nearby! 🙂 And, yes, your target audience is craving to know the real YOU. In essence, you’ve got to walk your talk — BE your descriptors.

  • Setting myself on fire as we speak…OUCH! Oh, you meant figuratively! 🙂 Love your thoughts, particularly BE your descriptors! I agree wholeheartedly, folks are doing business with you. Doesn’t matter how superb your product or service is, they are attracted to you first. Great stuff, Melanie!

    Dani

  • @Lis — Receiving praise from you is such a good feeling. You always lift my spirits and I’m grateful to have you in my circle of influence. Thanks, Lis!! And I’ll be on the lookout for a Flamin’ Hot post from you! LOL 🙂

  • @Steve — Thanks for the kudos! And great to know the title of this post was enough to give you a little nudge to read on. 🙂 Appreciate the visit today.

  • @Janette — You’re absolutely right! Your potential customers and clients want to do business with ‘people’, not a storefront or an online business. You’ve got to find ways to show them YOU are the right choice for them, not one of your competitors. Thanks for giving this post a read! 🙂

  • @Bonnie — “Plaid”? LOL!! Or maybe your signature will be ALL the colors of the rainbow 🙂 I’m like you, big on values. And that’s why I always suggest knowing your core values FIRST as you work to brand yourself. Everything else will unfold and take shape from that point on. I hope you find just the right expert to interview in your niche and have fun with it!

  • @Roy — Love the title you came up with! Tweet away! And I might have to hire you the next time I get stumped for a headline. 🙂

  • @Sherrie — Happy you found this info helpful! Best of success to you with uncovering your authentic brilliance. 🙂

  • @Melissa A. — Enjoy exploring the 50 free tools! I always like to take the “right brain – left brain” tests. 🙂 I’m sure you’re working hard to brand yourself (and hopefully having some fun, too!) and I’m happy you found some value in these tips.

  • @Kesha — So glad you made it over here! And I’m thrilled to know you’re reaching out to your clients and/or customers and getting ‘consistent’ feedback about what they like BEST about you. That’s a telltale sign, for sure. 🙂

  • Melanie, you are amazing. I love reading your posts because you take ordinary things and make them relevant in the business world. I don’t think I ever would have thought of using Fire as a metaphor in my blog. I will now. 🙂 Thank you for this insightful post. I can’t think of anything to add – you’ve covered it all. Bravo!

  • Great post, Melanie! I think that you are so right about the importance of knowing who we are. If we don’t know who we are, how can we help people get to where they want to be? That being said, I’ve got to give you credit: you’re title definitely got my attention 😉

  • This is an awesome analogy, Melanie! Each one of the points that you make are practical and effective. I think Point #5 is the most important. You have to let people know you care about them before they care about what your business has to offer.

  • Wow..talk about an inspiring post. One of the very first things I do with most of my new clients is help them get clear on their values so I’m thrilled you put that on your list.

    Love the idea of a signature color..but what do you do when your favourite color keeps changing with your mood? (plaid?)
    I’m working on and working out my signature talk. 30mins huh?

    Clearly I have some more work to do. At this point I’m breaking it into two one hour classes and still scrambling!

    I think I might take one of these and make it a new goal for myself..to interview but with a twist. I think I am going to attempt to interview someone ‘big’ in my niche.

    As always your posts boost up your readers Melanie!

  • And, here, I thought you were going to recommend that we deliberately immolate ourselves (Lindsey? Charlie? Huckabee?) just to get attention.
    I think you should retitle this “Keep the fire in your belly and people will pay attention”. That’s how I’m tweeting it 🙂

  • Excellent post, Melanie! It’s a saver, that’s for sure. I will follow along with your instructions ASAP. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  • Wonderful post Melanie. I am in the process of “branding” myself and my buisness. This was full of useful information. I am going to check out those 50 free online tools now 🙂

  • I love this post and analogy! I do number 9 all the time. I always get back the same things so at least I’m consistent 😉