Without Personal Branding Your Career is Dead

When you read the headline of this post, you may question why you need to promote yourself as a brand. Isn’t personal branding going too far for ordinary people having ordinary jobs? I don’t think so. The world has changed a lot the last years and branding yourself as well as building your brand online has become a necessity to stand out from the crowd, whether you are Justin Bieber or Maria at the reception desk. Without it, your career will be dead.

I’ve made an Infographic showing you why it’s so important and what personal branding can do for your career. Please share it with others if you find it valuable!

How to Develop Your Personal Brand
Start by asking yourself what you have accomplished that you can unabashedly brag about. If you’re going to be a brand, you’ve got to become relentlessly focused on what you do that adds value, that you’re proud of, and most important, that you can shamelessly take credit for. Find your niche that allows you to differentiate from others. Have you been raising your sales figures a lot, are you very innovative or do you have really good  co-operating skills?

What Personal Branding Can Do for Your Career
I think a good way to define a career is to look at it as a portfolio of projects that teach you new skills, gain you new expertise, develop new capabilities, grow your colleague set and constantly reinvent you as a brand.

Career is also about influence power. It’s about being known for making the most significant contribution in your particular area. It’s about reputational power.

One of the things that attracts us to certain brands is the power they project. As a consumer, you want to associate with brands whose powerful characteristics rubs off on you. It’s the same in the workplace. People want to work with you if you’re associated with powerful qualities. Important to remember is that power is largely a matter of perception. If you want people to see you as a powerful brand, you should act like a credible leader. And when you’re thinking about the brand You, you don’t need org-chart authority to be a leader. The fact is you are a leader. You’re leading the brand called You!

Do you perceive yourself as a brand? If so, how has it changed your approach to your work and self-value? Please share in the comment box below!

This story is featured in the Flevum Executive Daily Newspaper.

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13 thoughts on “Without Personal Branding Your Career is Dead

  1. When you think of yourself as a brand it forces you to step outside yourself and evaluate you as a commodity. You’re not, but you need to treat the evaluation that way. You’re up against tremendous competition, whether employed or in business for yourself. You have to figure out what sets you apart from the pack. Speakers speak – but what do they speak on? What is their expertise? Accountants count – but what is their specialty? Partnership accounting, Fortune 500 companies, audit? Those specialties create your brand, and your ability to market those specialties, helps build your brand. It was a real eye-opener for me when I objectively looked at my qualifications and skills from a buyers perspective. I now look at everything I do professionally as a brand building exercise.

    • I guess that looking at every task and accomplishment in a professional way has changed your career impact substantially. I guess it’s gone from brand building exercise to a powerful tool for reaching your goals. This is how you take charge of your own life. Well done and good luck! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love it! I started thinking this way while in undergraduate school. I was taking a lot of philosophy and art classes at the time, as well as doing some free lance web development, and it just hit me–being a writer or a painter means I have a point of view and I need to represent that in a succinct way on the web. I started toying with the idea of book jackets and a logo, thinking very corporate, like Coca-Cola, “what do I want people to feel, think and perceive when they say LaVelda?” I came up with several ideas that allowed me anonymity (freedom as a creator) and I used them to define myself as a renegade, a creative and independent thinker (think Sarah Palin, going rouge).

    When I became a therapy student, I revisited the brand, thinking rouge may not be what a distressed person is looking for, what other qualities might I confer with my brand? Plus, now I needed to be known so people can get services from me. I feel like being a creative thinker is still a big part of my brand, but now I also want to suggest accessibility and openness. I am curious, when you visited my blog, what sort of brand image did you take away? I ask because I am working toward private practice and am in the midst of choosing a name for business operation, your feedback may inform my decision.

    Thanks for the awesome post!
    http://laveldanaylor.wordpress.com/

    • Thank you for commenting! We do have to revisit our personal brands every now and then. As we grow as humans, change career or community, it may be a necessity to reinvent and review how we are perceived by others. Sometimes it’s a good thing to adapt to the situation, such as when you choose not going rouge anymore, and sometimes it’s good to differentiate and stand out from the crowd. I believe the best way to decide how to approach new customers is to define your target group, getting to know your potential clients and tailor your message and business accordingly. Good luck reaching your goal!

  3. In a recent debate about personal branding, I made the comment that corporate branding is dying and quickly being replaced by personal brands. I was making the point that the most successful organizations will no longer be defined by one brand, but a collection of individuals who combine thier strengths and talents to define a much larger brand with longer reach.
    Is it possible that before long, your resume will consist of how many email subscribers you have to your blog? How many unique visitors you get on average per month? How many “Shares” or retweets are you getting?
    I say yes! Your personal brand will define organizational culture regardless of the industry.

    • Thanks for sharing! I have seen resumes stating exactly this: amount of guest posts written, tweets sent, linkedin contacts etc. I’ve even seen Klout scores on cv’s. People are much more focused on their personal brand today than just a few years back and both individuals and companies will have to adapt to this new behaviour.

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  6. Hey Anna,
    I m completely with you on Personal Branding. Thanks for all your Fundas. I want to hear what you think about how organizations perceive Personal Branding and how it would evolve ?

    • Hi Ash! Thank you for commenting. I’m glad you liked the post. I think organizations in the future will focus on hiring people whose personal brands form how the company is perceived. I will write more about this later this fall. Stay tuned!

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