As more and more ex­ec­u­tives seek out agents to fur­ther their ca­reer, im­age and brand­ing ex­pert be­lieves they need to take a holis­tic ap­proach to their lead­er­ship man­age­ment and look be­yond mone­tary gain to cre­ate real in­flu­ence.

Business First - - BRANDING -

is the founder and CEO of Im­age Group In­ter­na­tional.

Ac­tors, elite ath­letes and writ­ers all know the value of a good agent: some­one who will rep­re­sent them with their best in­ter­ests in mind to help them meet their ca­reer ob­jec­tives. In fact agents have been re­spon­si­ble for some of the big­gest deals in his­tory. There’s foot­ball king­pin Jorge Men­des, who ne­go­ti­ated the Chris­tiano Ron­aldo trans­fer from Manch­ester United to Real Madrid worth $132 mil­lion. His buy­out clause is re­port­edly val­ued at Euro 1 bil­lion. In the act­ing world agents re­cently helped clinch a deal that saw the three leads of the big­gest show in the world, The Big Bang The­ory, sign $1 mil­lion per episode con­tracts. They also own a per­cent­age point of the show and pro­duc­tion rights. The deal could net them $90 mil­lion over the lives of the deals.

Th­ese are ex­treme ex­am­ples but they give you an in­di­ca­tion of the value of a good agent in re­la­tion to bank bal­ance and ca­reer ob­jec­tives.

Fur­ther­more it is not just ac­tors and elite ath­letes who are seek­ing the ser­vices of agents, there is a new trend among mid and se­nior level ex­ec­u­tives and en­trepreneurs seek­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tion not only to fast track their ca­reers but also grow their rep­u­ta­tion and legacy.

Whilst their qual­i­fi­ca­tions and ex­pe­ri­ence count for a great deal, their in­di­vid­ual brand ac­counts for so much more. Build­ing an in­di­vid­ual brand with the help of an agent en­sures greater ca­reer suc­cess and fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties in your cho­sen field.

A good agent will work with a client to en­sure that peo­ple have clearly de­fined ca­reer and life goals and back those goals up by be­ing pre­sentable and ap­proach­able. They will then as­sist in salary and ben­e­fits ne­go­ti­a­tions.

In a tough eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment you need all the edge you can get. Not only should you be will­ing to put in the hours, but you also need to place a higher value on per­sonal stan­dards, in­clud­ing dress and groom­ing, eti­quette, man­ners and re­spect; the val­ues that get you no­ticed and turn you into a brand that rep­re­sents all the qual­i­ties of a lead­ers in­clud­ing con­fi­dence, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and drive.

In my ex­pe­ri­ence act­ing as an im­age spe­cial­ist, I have as­sisted many or­gan­i­sa­tions and coached ex­ec­u­tives to be able to present them­selves in a man­ner that com­mands re­spect and that re­ally builds the foun­da­tions of a per­sonal brand.

My ap­proach to per­sonal brand­ing is holis­tic; it crafts au­then­tic­ity, which is then used to sway ne­go­ti­a­tions. Ex­ec­u­tives and busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als use this ap­proach to im­prove their per­sonal dy­nam­ics, com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills and over­all busi­ness in­flu­ence.

I had one client who was some­what lack­ing in skills and con­fi­dence to make a ca­reer move within the or­gan­i­sa­tion she worked for. Im­age Group In­ter­na­tional worked with her to first re­vamp her im­age and then went into ac­tion build­ing her per­sonal brand. She hadn’t re­alised the im­pact that ap­pear­ance, speech and gen­eral de­meanour can have in a ne­go­ti­a­tion sce­nario. We had a four­month one-on-one coach­ing course and at the end came out of that with more con­fi­dence, sharper pre­sen­ta­tion and more pro­fes­sional. To­gether what we did was de­velop goals and aims that were sup­ported by skills coach­ing and used those to cre­ate a pos­i­tive im­age that won her a new and chal­leng­ing role within the com­pany with a 78% salary in­crease. De­pend­ing on the clients’ in­di­vid­ual needs the financial as­pects may be sec­ondary as they may be more in­ter­ested in grow­ing their rep­u­ta­tion or ce­ment­ing their legacy.

Jon Michail

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