That Personal Brand Thing – it’s Baaack!!!!
August 3, 2010 6 Comments
Every few months, we get to revisit an old chestnut here on the intewebz, the personal brand question. Is there such a thing? Is it any different from reputation? How does one’s personal brand interact with a corporate (employer) brand?
This time, the discussion was renewed by the hack piece in Fortune written about Scott Monty and Ford – in which Josh Hyatt, the author, takes a well-deserved beating in the comments. Here’s a good follow-up piece on the broader topic by Rohit Bhargava.
People get all bent out of shape by two things, primarily, when “personal branding” comes up:
> 1. “It’s just wrong to build a personal brand that might detract from an employer’s brand.”
> 2. “All attempts at branding oneself are false.”
I “get” where these concerns are coming from – but we can also argue that all business is bad because some of it is done unscrupulously.
Instead, let’s just look at what personal branding is. Two words, really:
That’s it. The real you, accurately projected outward for others to see. Your brand is authentic when your expressed message and person reflect who you really are. Not sure I see a problem here.
What’s my brand? I’m a Connection Agent. That reflects who I am and what I do. I am also a husband, a father, a healthcare/pharma guy, a social networking person, a wine drinker, a griller, a dog owner, a photographer – and all of that gets projected in my various platforms of expression (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, etc.)
I happen to work on my own, but like Scott Monty and many others, that personal brand could be harnessed to do good for an employer, and an employer’s brand can reflect well on an individual. Strong, authentic brands working together can be mutually beneficial.
When Scott Monty or anyone else projects their personality, interests, reputation, and skills out into the marketplace, that’s not some cause for suspicion. It’s actually part of the new economy. Let’s get used to it…and find creative ways to succeed with it!
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