Today’s guest is Kraig Kleeman from kraigkleeman.com. Kraig is the author of two books. His first book, The Must-React System: A User's Guide to Prospecting C-Suite Executives, earned him the taglines of the “Inventor of the must-react system” and “world’s greatest cold caller”.
With his most recent book, A Winning Brand – How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand in today’s modern digital world, Kraig now carries the tagline “the king of personal branding”.
KRAIG KLEEMAN’S CAREER STORY
Kraig wasn’t always the self-appointed king of personal branding. In fact, not long ago Kraig was just Kraig. By all accounts a normal guy with a strong work ethic, skills, and talents that served him well in sales.
Kraig was doing well in his role until he experienced a couple inciting incidents, including a battle with cancer and the loss of a personal relationship. Both served as an awakening for Kraig who started look at life and work through a different lens.
One of the work-related changes he made was to begin experimenting with social media. It didn’t take Kraig long to see how the proper use of social media could accelerate his career in sales so he jumped in feet first.
A WINNING BRAND – HOW TO BUILD A POWERFUL PERSONAL BRAND IN TODAY’S MODERN DIGITAL WORLD
Right at the beginning of Kraig's book, he makes the BOLD statement that “In today’s job market, you have to stand for something, you have to have a brand.” Kraig backs his statement up with some statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor which states that more than 90M Americans are not participating in the workforce or are underemployed.
Kraig talks about this statistic and how today in order to keep your career moving you have to stand for something. You can no longer just go to work, do your job and hope to be promoted to higher levels of responsibility. Kraig argues those days are gone. Today, if you want to be recognized for your expertise you need to embrace new principles.
Your Digital Dot Com
Kraig tells us that in today’s economy one of the new principles you must embrace is your attitude towards the “digital space”. In fact, he argues in order for you to get started you need to “give yourself away” to the digital age first by purchasing your domain name.
Kraig tells us how his business was impacted when he re-branded his business, formerly named after his daughter, to his personal name and current domain of kraigkleeman.com. Initially, he was concerned about this change because he was afraid of what others might think. This mindset changed once the results of the new branding kicked in.
Based on these results, Kraig now recommends to all of his clients to take the same bold action and purchase their first and last name dot com.
If you’re concerned that your personal brand will creep into your business brand, Kraig argues that’s ok. There is such a blur today between our personal and business lives that in reality, your personal brand will become your business brand and vice versa.
If you’re thinking you don’t need to build your brand or learn new technologies, Kraig argues that approach may work for awhile but in the long run you will be passed over.
What makes your Personal Brand Bold?
The next two key principles Kraig believes you need to embrace are taking inventory of yourself and discovering your originality. This means becoming more self-aware.
To help you become more self-aware Kraig includes in his book a personal reflection exercise. Similar to the exercises in my book CareerKred, Kraig’s personal reflection exercise will help you realize the importance of things in your life like your values, your personal preferences and how they relate to your career.
In addition to taking a personal inventory, Kraig recommends gaining outside or external perspectives as well when building your personal brand. Very similar to the trusted advisor exercise I went through. It is very difficult for us to critically evaluate ourselves so sometimes we need outside perspectives in order to “keep ourselves in check”.
The Importance of Consistency and Getting Visible
The final principles Kraig believes in are the power of being consistent and not being afraid to get visible. To that point, Kraig tells us that consistency is very important to not only getting visible to help you become recognized for your winning personal brand.
Kraig is a big fan of video. He likes to say:
[Tweet ” Every video is worth a thousand words” – Kraig Kleeman”]
Video is where Kraig was able to find his voice and begin to build his personal brand. He especially likes the way video can be repurposed into other mediums in order to increase your visibility.
Kraig understands that video can be very intimidating to many. I know it has been for me as I recently started my own semi-regular vlog. During our chat, Kraig offers several tips for helping you get comfortable behind the camera. But his best piece of advice is to just get started.
Be ok with being uncomfortable. Grab your phone, your GoPro, or your camera and just start filming.
The “A WINNING BRAND” Online Course
As a companion to his book, Kraig put together a video course that you can access online to help you build a winning brand. You can find his course at awinningbrand.com. The course consists of 21 videos and multiple guides to help you go through the steps one-by-one to build your brand.
THE BEST WAYS TO CONTACT KRAIG KLEEMAN
LinkedIn: Kraig Kleeman