Today we're going to expose three lies entrepreneurs tell themselves on why they dont need a personal brand and explain the reality behind each.
Personal branding (applying the techniques that corporations use for their products to market oneself) is a hot topic in the blogosphere and Ive seen many misconceptions used to dismiss it.
#1: Personal Branding Is A Trendy Way Of To Cover Up My Faults.
The term Personal branding originally appeared in the 1997 Fast Company article The Brand Called You by Tom Peters. The piece discussed the idea of treating yourself as the CEO of Me, Inc. to get further ahead in your career. However, the idea of positioning oneself as a brand has been around since the first entrepreneurs realized they needed to differentiate to succeed.
This is not about covering up your faults or trying to be someone you are not. Your audience will see through a fake persona. A strong personal brand is based on being strategically authentic, while highlighting your best qualities for connecting with your audience.
#2: I Am Who I Am " Im Not Covering That Up To Be A Brand; Besides, Why Would I Limit Myself To A Few Qualities?
Treating yourself as a company doesnt mean you have to be stale and boring. Your brand should communicate the various dimensions of your personality. And, as you grow, your brand evolves with you.
There was a time when I believed talking about my love of Beastie Boys lyrics or communicating with my playful sense of humor would seem unprofessional. In some scenarios, it is, but I found that when I correlate song lyrics to business it encourages a fun environment. Ive incorporated these various elements of my personality into my brand; in doing so, Ive received more business from people I enjoy working with who also appreciate my unique point of view.
#3: Personal Branding Is Only For Celebrities And The Self-obsessed.
Personal branding is not for everyone. The truth is not everyone has drive or even a vision for what they want out of life. But I do believe that the concept works for those looking to achieve something in his or her life. It is not self-obsessed to have a goal and put a plan in place to achieve it, and I dont believe its self-obsessed to take the time to understand who you are and how you use that to help others (which is what most people are really looking to do when they have a vision).
Effectively communicating who you are, what you stand for and what differentiates you will increase the chances of your success, and if youre ready to use your most compelling qualities to your advantage, personal branding is for you.
So, do you really need a personal brand?
In reality, it doesnt matter if you think you need a personal brand. The fact is you already have one. Its how people perceive you.
Its your turn to share your thoughtsAre any of these myths true?
Kimberly Bordonaro is a brand strategist and the founder of Brandspiration, a blog that uses ridiculously fun lyrical references to explain how everyday entrepreneurs can create their distinctive brands.