If there is one man that has personal branding down to a science, it’s Barney Stinson from CBS’ How I Met Your Mother. Played by Neil Patrick Harris, Barney Stinson is an opportunistic womanizer (with a penchant for laser tag) who has made it his goal to be awesome, epic, and all the synonyms in between.
Even if your personal branding goals don’t align with sleeping with every single girl in New York, we can still break down the Barney Stinson model to make your personal brand absolutely legendary.
Rock a signature style.
Barney Stinson is pretty epic on the inside, but he also reflects it on the outside. The soul of his character, and an essential part of his wardrobe, is suits. This man always wears suits, unabashedly rocks silk suit pajamas, and has even composed songs about suits.
Our personal brands must be that: personal. Truly unique. You must stand out and claim something as your own. This can come in the form of an awesome logo, killer color scheme, or interesting website design. There must be something intrinsically “you” about the presentation of your output.
Create a truly epic catchphrase.
Even casual viewers of How I Met Your Mother have heard Barney cry out “Legen – wait for it – dary!” or some variation of his popular catchphrase. Even others that utter the line end up talking about Barney.
What are you about? What inspires you? If you really want to sell yourself as one creative, smart, and awesome individual, you should have a tagline that defines you. A perfect example is Marcus Sheridan’s “Empowering People Through the Power of Community.”
Challenge yourself to be better.
Barney Stinson is also fiercely competitive and stubborn. If one of his friends proposes a seemingly impossible task, he’s quick to chime in with a “Challenge accepted!” And then he goes to complete said challenge no matter how long it takes.
Once you’re awesome, you need to continue to be awesome. Unfortunately, being awesome doesn’t come to those that sit at home and eat potato chips; awesome comes to those that try to make their business smarter, increase the value of their networking relationships, or better themselves.
Give yourself an association.
Barney is awesome; awesome is Barney. Through relentless tries to achieve awesomeness, mastering the usage of every synonym of “awesome,” and countless high fives, Barney has made it his mission to be the most awesome dude alive. He’s quick to add some “epic” to his conversations and freely offers advice about how to achieve such greatness.
You must also find an association. Michael Jordan has basketball, Starbucks has coffee, and you too have a definitive niche. Think of what you’re passionate about, or what you want to sell as an end product, and establish your authority. If your passion is staplers, then strive (through blogs, social media, business) to make your name an association with staplers.
Hold yourself accountable.
For Barney, no word is more sacred than the text of the Bro Code. Most of the actions that he takes are determined by what the Bro Code says. If he breaks any of these rules at any time, he will punish himself accordingly.
Similarly, you have to take responsibility for your actions. Celebrate your accomplishments, but own up to your mistakes. If you acknowledge a break down and rectify it, people will find you more credible than someone who has never made a mistake.
Help out your friends.
“Have you met my friend, Ted?” might be a simple question, but it is the cornerstone of Barney’s playbook for being an excellent wingman. Barney goes out of his way to set up his friend Ted with women, and is essential in bringing the show’s power couple, Marshall and Lily, back together in the second season. Barney is generally self-serving with these gestures, but it still affects positive results for his friends.
There’s nothing more awesome than helping out your friends. The relationships that you make and keep also influence your personal brand. For people to sing your praises to their own network, you have to show them that you’re a person worth knowing. Share their content, comment on their work, and offer them part of your services or products for free. These small actions now will be worth their weight in gold later.
Stay open to change.
Even though Barney is generally a womanizing cad, he’s had a handful of girlfriends during the course of the show. Relationships are not something he pursues, but when thrust into his life, he decides to give them a try.
No matter how fine-tuned your business, website, or life is right now, there’s always the possibility of something changing. Whether it’s an up-and-coming social network or new competitor, you’ll have to be ready to adapt. Even if the conflict seems terrifying, you may emerge on the other side better than ever.
Sustain your enthusiasm.
Barney is the king of keeping a party going and the optimism booming. His personal playlist contains only upbeat and catchy rock songs. Even if everything is going terribly wrong, he always wants to press on.
There will be terrible days. There will be days when your lead generation is sitting at zero. There will be days will you publish a Pultizer-worthy blog post and nobody comments. The important thing is to shrug it off, find your happy place, and keep going. Without risks, there will be no rewards.
So are you ready to be awesome? By following these tips you will be well on your way to a personal brand that not even Barney Stinson could touch.
It’s time to make yourself legendary.
Anything else we can learn from Barney? Any other ways you’re building your personal brand? What’s your favorite Barney moment or catchphrase? If you’re feeling extra awesome, hit one of those social buttons to share this post with all of your favorite bros.