I recently came across the following question on LinkedIn:
“I am a specialist in the area of Personal Branding, working with some individual clients and corporations to develop Personal Brading strategies. Well, I need feedback from you on this: what comes to mind when someone talks about Personal Branding?“
Personal branding is, simply put, what used to be called “your reputation.” However; in today’s faster, stronger, more competitive world you end up with a personal reputation that is also “more.”
What do I mean? Your personal reputation has always been what people think of you.
If you were a car salesman, did your customers recommend you? If a doctor, do people tell their friends that you are a great doctor when they are looking for a new one? If you work on the factory floor, do your co-workers say that you are the one to go to if you need something done right?
However, the company name was what was on the billboard, stationary, or advertisement. How things have changed! Two factors have greatly affected the old scenario… technology and job-hopping.
Let me speak of the latter first. Most experts will tell you that one will hold many times more jobs in their lifetime, than in any other time in history. Job-hopping is sometimes a choice and sometimes not. Sometimes a bad thing, and sometimes not. However, it is happening. So the need for an excellent reputation becomes even more valuable. Whatever your field of work, how much easier does job hunting become if you are well known in your field?
What do you think about technology today? Did you realize that technology has taken the newspaper ads, billboards, and other traditional advertisements; shrunk them, and placed them on web pages, blogs, emails, and eNewsletters? Anyone can now run hundreds of different ads, twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week for no or almost no cost.
So the personal reputation, or Personal Branding, can now be done through your own advertising. How do you do this? There are numerous resources to answer that question. However, you can start with an email signature.
Are you the New Car Commando? The Career Czar or the Maven of Medicine? Sound corny? Yeah, sure it is. But after five years, when everyone is calling you that, (presuming you are actually good at what you do) it becomes synonymous with expertise in your field. A well-known expert who commands top dollar for your reputation alone.
Want to see more on this issue? Try http://www.passionforbusiness.com/teleclass/alicia-smith.htm or http://www.personalbrandingsummit.com/ for great written and audio resources. Personally, I love toting around audio files on my mp3 player and listening to them through my car radio.
So… Do you practice Personal Branding? What do you? What resources do you use? Please share.