Is it time to get personal with a Personal Brand?

We have all read about ‘Personal Brand and Personal Branding’ but WTF is it and are you already doing it?
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WTF_Personal-Branding

Let’s look at Personal Brand:

Official Definition of Personal Brand:

A personal brand is a widely-recognized and largely-uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large.

Official Definition of Personal Branding:

The conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.

Put simply (excerpts from Personalbrand.com):

  • A true personal brand revolves around what other people say about you. 
  • Personal branding revolves around what you say about yourself.

The argument FOR Personal Branding:

We all know how important branding is when it comes to business, but have you ever thought about building a personal brand that tells the story of who you are? 

Creating a personal brand may seem like a grandiose or self-indulgent exercise. However, the harsh reality is that if you do not create your own brand, other people will do it for you based on whatever information they can glean about you from friends, colleagues, social media and internet searches. 

Taking control of your personal brand puts you in charge of the narrative and allows you to present yourself in the best possible light in an oversaturated marketplace. It will boost your reputation and elevate your credibility as well as help you to build trust with others in order to reach your personal and professional goals.

A personal brand encompasses everything that affects how people view you and respond to you. It helps communicate to the outside world the values, beliefs, goals and deeper purpose that describe who you are and guide your choices. In short, it represents all the unique parts that make up your personality, experience and ambitions.

Investing in your personal brand will bring long-lasting benefits to both your personal and professional life as well as help open doors for you in the future. It will also enable you to make decisions that are in line with your values and save you wasting time on activities that do not resonate with your brand identity and deeper purpose.

Personal branding takes work and time, but it is a great way to help you stand out from the crowd and attract attention from potential employers, clients and collaborators. 

The argument against:

A personal brand is hugely overrated. It suggests that you can advance your career by creating a reputation.

But don’t fool yourself. A reputation, or personal brand, is something you don’t fully control.

A lot of fools try to tell you that you have to “build your personal brand.”. I’ve heard it since 2004 when I got my first sales job while I was in college. The advice was, “work on your personal brand, and you can make a promotion very quickly.”

And that kind of advice is still given today. Recently I stumbled upon an article on a major publishing outlet where the author talked about how “science” can help you to build a personal brand.

It was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read. The author, a so-called branding expert, edited her profile picture in Canva. She simply increased the brightness, contrast, and saturation by 4 points.

AND THE RESULT WAS AMAZING!

Can I get a drum roll, please?

The edited profile picture outperformed the old picture by 412 followers on Twitter!

Who the fuck cares?

Honestly. That stuff has ZERO impact on things such as career satisfaction or income. I have a master’s degree in marketing. And changing the brightness of your profile picture is not the type of science that I was taught by my marketing professors.

People who claim a personal brand is something you “work on” completely disregard one important thing.

A reputation is a by-product of work. You can work on your skills. But you can’t work on a reputation.

A reputation is something you earn.

You see, a reputation is nothing more than the perception that other people have of you. So for one thing, it’s not something you directly control.

You can only influence it by two things:

  1. Do great work.
  2. Treat people well.

So there you have it – Personal Brand and Branding, the greatest thing you can do for your career and your business or yet another marketing bullsh*t term everyone is jumping on the bandwagon for?

If you do want to look further into – here are 6 steps to building a personal brand:

  1. Determine & Prioritize Your Values and Passions.
    What are your ethics from work and family to honesty and ambition and how do you enjoy spending your time?
  2. Define Your Key Traits
    Need more insights on determining who you are today? Ask your friends and family for their honest opinions. Start by asking them to give you three adjectives they’d use to describe you.
  3. Develop Your Personal Image
    Does your social image match your personality? Is it professional? Fun? Bright? Considered? Academic?…
  4. Define Your Target Audience
    Think about the person who will pay you and the person who influences the person who will pay you! And then your supporters. Who do you want to speak to and why?
  5. Build Your Online Presence
    Get yourself a username that you can use across platforms so there is consistency, making it easier to find you.
  6. Start Blogging/ sharing social and relevant to all of the above content
    Get your voice heard – get posting, answering questions, participating in conversations, sharing content that ticks all the boxes above.

Excerpts from Digitalmarketinginstitute.com

Closing thoughts…

Once marketing has an idea in it’s collective heads, it rarely goes away; think ABM… So I think Personal Brand and Branding is here to stay. How soon and how much it affects you is the unknown.

If you have a marketing challenge – Challenge marketing!

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