It seems that everyone and their mama wanna have a personal brand. We can all thank the Kardashians for starting this shit years ago.
But no one was better at building a personal brand than the great Michael Jackson. His blueprint doesn’t have to be followed exactly, but it provides a framework from which we can benefit.
Here’s how he did it.
Study The Greats, Then Modify
Jackson stated countless times that he modeled his dancing skills on James Brown, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Sammy Davis Jr. All that studying honed his skills, and he too became a mind-blowing dancer.
He also became a student of old Hollywood and took great interest in the lives of P.T. Barnum, Howard Hughes, Walt Disney, and Charlie Chaplain.
Whoever you admire, study them inside and out, steal some of their qualities that most inspire you, and put your spin on it.
Develop Your Public Persona
How do you want to be perceived by your followers, clients, and the general public? Your actual self may not be 100% built for public consumption, so you should know how you will show up in the world.
Michael was specific about his public presentation. Anytime he spoke on television or in interviews, he made sure that he spoke in a soft, high-pitched tone. As a kid, I assumed he sounded that way.
Years later, I discovered that his “authentic” voice was deeper than I imagined.
MJ hired clothes designers to build custom pieces for him to wear. He wanted to be thought of as anything besides ordinary, which is why his outfits were very unusual. Everything he wore was an extension of his whimsical and innovative personality.
I recommend that you spend time with a notebook and pen jotting down ideas of how you want to be perceived. It goes beyond what you wear and how you speak. It’s the values you stand for and your worldview.
He Had Excellent Collaborators
Your brand will suffer if you don’t surround yourself with the right people. Whatever your talent is, you don’t possess the skills to do everything.
When I was a kid, I assumed that Michael was responsible for everything awesome about himself. I didn’t realize that it took a team of A-players to elevate his greatness. For all albums, he worked with songwriters, producers, arrangers, keyboardists, and sound engineers who were among the best in the business.
Music promoters, marketers, record executives, and deejays contributed heavily to the eye-popping success of his artistic projects.
Whatever your industry is, you should follow the general MJ blueprint. If you’re an author, make sure that you work with excellent cover designers, line editors, proofreaders, ad managers, and promoters.
If you’re a business owner, you want to work with quality accountants, attorneys, and vendors. It takes a talented team to build exceptional things.
Even a personal brand.
There’s so much noise in the world these days and everyone is competing for your attention. If you follow the basic blueprint that Michael Jackson built, you will have no problem building your brand.
Unless you’re not talented!