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Chris J. Reed’s six tips on personal branding from the movies

Chris Reed

Chris J. Reed is a No. 1 international best selling author and offers his  six tips from 6 movies (and TV shows) that demonstrate why you need a personal branding strategy for business.

The Joker: Be Yourself

Like all people who accentuate their personal brands, they are ultimately true to themselves and enhance their qualities and presence to amplify their personal brand on all relevant stages and platforms. The Joker is very much himself, he walks into a room, down a street, through a ceiling/door… and you know exactly who he is every single time. The Joker’s sense of the theatrics is unmistakable. The “business card” of the The Joker caps the performance. Who else’s business card makes such an impression?

The Joker walks into a room and people stop what they’re doing and engage. He captures your imagination and attention. Your personal brand should rise above others to communicate your brand values just like The Joker’s does.

If he had a LinkedIn profile it would be worthwhile looking at and reading his thought leadership. He commands interest, intrigue and curiosity then delivers. Excellent personal branding characteristics.

Breaking Bad: Know the power of your personal brand

One of my favourite lines of any character in any TV series is when Walter White (who by this stage is very much drug warlord Heisenberg) declares to his rivals in the middle of the desert (having just blown away the Mafia, and his rival, and is now the undisputed king of drugs), “Say My Name. Say it. Say My Name”. Heisenberg is the trembling answer. King of all he surveys!

Brilliant moment which encapsulates the journey that Walter has taken from nerd and part-time drug creator to mega drug dealer and full on feared gangster. The power of the personal brand of Heisenberg has overwhelmed anything else he was before and he wants everyone to know who he is.

Darth Vader: How you dress is how you’re perceived

Darth Vader isn’t just wearing a normal black suit he is wearing a black helmet mask which immediately grabs your attention and an enormous black cloak combined with an impressive black body armour suit. The clock swooshing along behind him enhances his personal brand by growing his body mass to look and feel even more impressive. When Darth Vader walks, or rather strides purposefully into a room you know about it.

If Darth Vader is using the “force” to wipe everything in his way aside while reflecting all lasers aimed at him and waving a vicious lightsaber, you certainly know that he has arrived. Never has there been a more powerful and charismatic entrance truly reflecting his personal brand than when Darth Vader walks through those doors.

American Psycho: Business Cards

Of course it had to be! American Psycho is centred around the status of your personal brand manifested through the quality of the business cards the competitors at Pierce and Pierce and their rivals invest in and show off. The card is a symbol. It’s all about what the card says about that person’s personal brand. It’s amazing, but even in this digital age people are still using business cards despite everything being online or on LinkedIn. There is still a kudos/personal brand statement that people communicate via their business card.

The quality of your business card still says lots about you and your personal brand. I personally now just use my No.1 International Bestselling Book “LinkedIn Mastery For Entrepreneurs” as it’s about the same price as one of these embossed, watermarked cards in American Psycho and doesn’t get lost while continuing to add value and be personal brand enhancing! More memorable in my view, but everyone has a different take on what they give out.

Gladiator: Your personal brand name is your reputation
The crux of Gladiator is a simple battle between good and evil. The hero, a betrayed General, now slave/gladiator is Maximus Decimus. New emperor, the evil Commodus. Maximus is famous for leading armies and conquering nations. His fearsome personal brand reputation goes before him. So when it comes to Commodus trying to silence him he can’t merely kill him as his legend will continue. He has to try and humiliate and shatter his personal brand. As Gladiator’s saviour, “manager” Proximo says memorably:

“You have a great name. He must kill your name before he kills you.” The essence of personal branding strength.

The Godfather: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

The Godfather epitomizes this more than anything else. It’s all about your personal brand and how that engages, influences and communicates to people who can help you do business, and how you can help them. The quote from the film that best sums this up is “Friendship is everything. Friendship is more important than talent”. In this one quote it’s stating what everyone knows if they think about it. You can be the most talented person in the world at what you do, but without a personal brand that people respect and want to work with, and if you have no network, no friends, no associates who can help you get to where you want to go you are nothing. Your talent is meaningless.

Friends, and in this context I’m using friends as context for business associates too, can enable your dreams to come true and you theirs. It’s quid pro quo. It’s all about your personal network and your personal brand standing within it as to how much you can get done and how much people help and enable you to get things done. Or not of course as the case maybe….

My new No.1 International Bestselling book “Personal Branding Mastery For Entrepreneurs”  is out now on Amazon across the world in all formats.


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