I don’t even believe in personal branding, but maybe that’s precisely the type of brand I am, the subject, however, has long bugged me and I have made myself think and write about it.If you are reading this, you must be trying to create a brand for yourself, and perhaps that’s just it, perhaps nowadays we all need to make ourselves marketable, whether we like it or not!
As a staunch critic of self-branding, reluctantly agreeing to examine what the elements of a good personal online brand are, I have looked at some of the most likeable, interesting, entertaining a nd inspiring people online in an attempt to figure out just what makes them such good brands:
Know Your Substance and Express It!
Self-knowledge and the ability to express yourself in an interesting and entertaining fashion is key. This may include the ability to express what you are feeling in a thought-provoking fashion or simply describing your qualities and skills eloquently. Whatever you do, never be bland, boring or one-dimensional! Be opinionated, put your curves and edges on display and take every opportunity to show the world who you are, what you think and how great you are.
Authenticity and Honesty
Be honest and authentic in your approach, don’t bs! This may not concur with common marketing practices or best career advancing methods, but after all you are a person, not a product. People value what may seem old-fashioned qualities like honesty and integrity and by staying real and truthful, you will win trust and respect. Authenticity and honesty will also have you stand out from the crowd, simply because there is no-one like you and few individuals, online or off, are living truly authentic lives.
I would sincerely hope that the days when people forever need to be in control and pretend to be perfect are well and gone. Showing flaws and failings, admitting wrongs and confessing ignorance are refreshing qualities that will make you all the more approachable. Be brave, be vulnerable!
Passion & Grit
Pepper your online brand with personal passions, flavor your image with true grit. People’s passions are contagious and inspiring and yours should be too. Whatever message you are trying to spread, make it loud, whatever cause you want to promote, have it stand out. If that means showing your teeth, do, as it will make your online brand gritty and real.
Growth and Change
People grow, people change and your brand must grow and develop with you, even if this means changing your opinions or the direction which you are traveling in. Rather than creating a stagnant image or brand, allow people to witness your growth as a person. By doing so, you will ensure that your brand remains real and that you are much more than a mere image of yourself.
Real stories of trials and tribulations, triumph and victory are what makes a good personal brand. We are all captured by those who openly and frankly do what they do and are what they are.