These last few years have seen a surge in the business of personal branding. People started businesses, grew businesses, reengineered, recreated or rebooted their careers. Many desired a promotion, corporations desired devotion from their employees and students all around the country unsuccessfully entered the job market. Many of these people decided to take a step to the side and make some time to understand their personal brand or help their employees connect their personal brand to the corporate brand. And many others watched those people and thought, “What the heck are they doing??”
To some personal branding may sound a bit fluffy or sugar coated and I admit that before I put up my own shingle declaring myself a “personal brand strategist,” I too was a skeptic. But I’m here to tell you it works. I’m not talking about self-promotion either.
How does Personal Branding happen?
Personal branding is a process that includes self-analysis, self-assessment and an increase in awareness of how others perceive us as a brand. There are 3 phases to the personal branding process I use – unearthing your personal brand, understanding it and utilizing it.
Living in authenticity and consistency is the end result. That is a very powerful outcome for many people. It’s like taking a very long look in the mirror, asking yourself lots of questions, working through the answers with a guide and realizing what will make you happy, satisfied and fulfilled in your life and at the same time you’re just being yourself. Not bad for a few months and a few bucks!
Self Promotion or Personal Branding?
There is nothing self-promotional about personal branding yet many often confuse the two. In fact, I think self-promotion can damage your personal brand. We all know people who self promote and the type of feelings they evoke within us. It’s not exactly the person you’re inviting to lunch right?
Personal Branding – It works!
Think about people like Oprah, Lady Gaga, Sarah Palin and Bill Gates – they evoke emotion in us. We immediately feel something about them, use attributes to describe them and associate images or words to them. They are not only people, celebrities in fact, but they are also brands. Regardless of what you think of them you know them and not because they self promote but because you know what differentiates them and what they stand for.
While it may be hard to relate to a celebrities brand we can dissect the principals of branding by looking at them as examples.
A free resource to get you started
If you’re interested in gaining a better understanding of how you’re perceived as a brand you can take the free version of the
web assessment. The assessment is easy to use and the responses are enlightening.
What do you think of personal branding? Would love to hear your thoughts.