Personal Branding Lessons: Are you a Dog in the Pound?

This evening I saw an America Strong segment on ABC News Tonite, which featured photographer Shannon Johnstone and her quest to save abandoned dogs at the pound.

There are 2 important Personal Branding lessons here,

  1. the power of your body language and expression (environment) on ‘being picked’;
  2. the power of volunteering.


sad dogExpression and Body Language:

Easily increase your odds of being picked!

If you’ve been unemployed for awhile, or passed over for promotion, or have difficulty finding that special someone, take a tip from the dogs in the pound…..

Shannon took dogs who had been in the kennel the longest,  took them out to a landfill, and photographed them.  Shannon and her husband played with them, and snapped pictures of them in moments of joy, moments of play, enjoying their freedom. Those photos were posted on Facebook, in hopes they would be adopted. Her ‘adoption conversion rate’ is still very high, in attracting adoptive parents for these dogs.

These are dogs that have been in the pound the longest, overlooked, and who – like humans, showed their frustration and sadness in their expression and body language.

Believe it or not, I see the same thing in people who have come across hard times. Whether recently let go or long term unemployed, lost a love or divorced, etc., many people carry that ‘scarlet letter’ on their face and in the way they carry themselves around. If you’re looking for a job, promotion, new love, that ‘scarlet letter’ stands out and repels people from you. And may even attract the wrong people.

Go to any networking event, and see if you can find the ‘unemployed’. It’s easy. Go to a one stop center or welfare office, and watch the mannerisms and body language. Most times you can see and hear desperation,  sadness, despair. And that environment is a draining one. It’s very tough work bringing yourself out of that ‘place’.

Take a tip from these dogs who let their real personalities shine, even for just a few minutes! Don’t wait for someone to rescue you. Go get a makeover, put on your ‘happy’ Happy Dog Happy Brandface, carry yourself confidently and proudly, and watch your conversion rates soar. Treat yourself to something good, and ‘feel’ that something great is coming, coming soon from right around the corner. Go out and do something fun. Hang around people who are where you want to be. Internalize that energy and hope and freedom, and keep doing that.  A turnaround is sure to come much sooner than the sad puppy face.

When involved with Working Wardrobes Days of Self Esteem, the change in stature, facial expressions, and body language in all the participants was simply astounding. Particularly in the men! Women at least can get makeup and a new hairdo, but the men simply got trimmed or a new style and a new suit.  They went from ‘just an unemployed man’ to a ‘man with potential’.

Do yourself a favor this holiday season. Treat yourself to a makeover from the inside, and watch it come out on the outside. Then accentuate it with an outside makeover. Snap a new Linkedin picture, and update your profile to represent that new you!

Get out of the pound – then send me the results. Good luck!! You’re worth it!

Bonus Branding Lesson: Power of Volunteering:

Easily increase the value of your network and increase your odds for having your 15 minutes!

The simple act of volunteering to help abandoned dogs get adopted, just using her skill & passion through her craft of photography, she was highlighted by ABC News Tonite in their America Strong segment – skyrocketing her brand and her 15 minutes. (You’ll never know when those 15 minutes will strike, are you ready?).  I talked about the power of volunteering here, in The #1 Way to Improve the Value of Your Networking. Volunteering is good for your community, and good for you.  Making 1+1=3.  Look into it.  Now let’s hope Shannon is ready to capitalize on all the instant exposure!

To your Success – now, go Raevolutionize!



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