What Justin Timberlake has taught me about personal branding.

Y'all, I love me some JT. His new album, The 20/20 Experience, came out this week. LIKE A BOSS.

Here's what I learned from Justin (Remember when he was this guy?) about personal branding:

1. Be impeccable.
Look. JT doesn't fuck around. Everything he does is tight. From his SNL appearance to his week-long stint on Jimmy Fallon. Even his Bud Light commercial is impeccable.

He has his standards. He doesn't lower these standards. Ever.

*What are your own personal standards for showing up in your life? What if you held yourself to these every single moment?
(Starting now.)

2. Tell a story.
I was watching the Grammy's with Monica, and she (being the actor/director that she is!) kept lamenting "No one is telling a story." Until Justin came on.

His performance was nothing but story. From the costumes, to the lighting, to the song choice - it was all story.

*Is your life telling the story "I'm a hot mess."? What story do you want to be telling? (Hint: even if you don't realize it, you are telling a story with your life everysingleday. The key is to make sure it's the right one.)

3. Collaborate with the right people.
I heard on an interview that JT and Jay Z got the idea for Suit & Tie while writing songs for Beyonce. Justin Timberlake. Jay Z. Beyonce.

He has found the right people.

*Standards, y'all. It's all about standards. Surround yourself with people who hold themselves to the same standards from which you live. Work with these people. Play with these people. Your life will be better for it.

4. Launch like a champion.

JT is everywhere right now. EVERYWHERE. This is no accident.

He put his album out and then made sure that you could not ignore it. This man has mastered the art of the launch - be impeccable. Tell a story. Don't let people ignore you. Repeat.

BAM. I'm sure paying attention. Are you?

*Do you hide your gifts from the world out of fear or shyness? Is it easier to hide behind "oh, I hate marketing." than actually put yourself in front of your audience?

5. Give it away.
JT has so much faith in his product, in what he's selling, that he's giving it livestreamed it on iTunes for an entire week before release. For free.

In a world where the emphasis is on being sure to *not* give away the milk lest one not buy the cow, Justin was handing out dixie cups on every corner - a virtual "Ladies, come see how good *my* milk is. Don't you want more of that?"

Yes, Justin, I do. And based on the sales projections for this week (750,000 sales expected by Sunday), a lot of other people do to.

*Hat tip to you, good sir. You are an example to all of us as we live our lives.

Note: some of you might be thinking - ok. Great. JT is a supreme hottie, but what does personal branding have to do with me and my life? Babycakes, it has *everything* to do with you and your life. Unless you want to blend in forever. Then you can follow the personal branding strategies of Michael Bolton.

PS. This post is in no way sponsored by Justin Timberlake. Although - Justin, if you wanna work together, let me know. Forreals.


Photo credit; Graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching