What personal branding is not

Me, me, me. Gosh, we love a bit of ourselves, don’t we...

So it's of little surprise that whenever personal branding is mentioned at places I speak as OPELLO, the first word people usually cling to is, well…personal.

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While it is true that a personal brand needs to make some noise in the marketplace to ensure its visibility, this is not where you should focus the most energy. Demonstrating your value is the key.

Obviously, you don’t want to be the world’s best kept secret – you need to make sure others know who you are and what you have to offer. But the emphasis should be on their needs, not yours. Do they continually experience the value you provide? Do they associate that value with you?

I once attended a PMV Tribe seminar and heard the most thought-provoking question:

Does your brand fall in love with your customer's problems over your own solutions?
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So if personal branding is more show than tell, how do you showcase your value? Branding expert, William Arruda suggests asking yourself any of these 10 questions on a regular basis:

Did I:

  1. Leave my mark on every meeting I attended – making contributions to the discussion to add value?
  2. Do something to make my manager more successful?
  3. Acknowledge the great work of employees, teammates or colleagues – reaching out to thank them in person or virtually?
  4. Create and publish content (a blog, video, article, white-paper, infographic, etc.), disseminating information that will be useful to people who share my expertise?
  5. Publicly praise others for their contributions (especially in front of their managers)?
  6. Integrate my superpowers – the things I do better than anyone else – into everything I did?
  7. Share content created by others (articles, Blogs, YouTube videos, etc.) that is valuable to members of my network (adding my point-of-view to the content I shared)?
  8. Reach out to at least three members of my network with the goal of nurturing those relationships?
  9. Deliver on my brand promise consistently?
  10. Make a list of my accomplishments and plans for the coming day or week?

Asking yourself these questions will get you in habit of contributing. Those contributions – not bragging and shouting – are the foundation for building a strong, enduring personal brand.


Has this article left you with a list of further questions about personal branding? Leave your comments below.

Posted by Richard Etienne.