Personal branding was popularized by an article by Tom Peters first published in Fast Company Magazine (“A Brand Called You”) over 10 years ago. He starts out the article by writing, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
Whether you are aware of it or not, in today’s world we all have a personal brand. The first thing we do if we want to find out more about a first date, a potential employer or a new colleague is googling the person concerned. And what we’ll discover is his/her personal brand.
A ‘personal brand’ is in many ways synonymous with our reputation. It refers to the way we are seen by the world, including clients, investors, peers, boss, friends, etc. If you are not conscious of what your personal brand is and not deliberately branding yourself, the outside world is branding you. Make building your personal brand a priority!
Building a recognizable personal brand starts with developing an understanding of your true self, and then sharing that with the world. Your brand should be factual and a reflection of who you are.
- Do you know what you believe?
- What you stand for?
- What your strengths and weaknesses are?
- What you excel in?
- How you make a difference?
Peter Montaya, one of the best personal branding specialists, defines the personal brand in this way: “A personal brand is a promise of performance that creates expectations in its audience. Done well, it clearly communicates the values, personality and abilities of the person behind it.”
Personal branding is the new normal. Don’t leave your personal brand to chance. Manage it! Some women tell me that branding yourself seems as if they are bragging. I disagree. It is not bragging if you speak the truth and highlight a few things of which you’re proud! So put yourself forward and don’t be shy about it!