What Does Your Personal Brand Say About You?
My definition of a personal brand is simply to describe it as your unique promise of value. It is unique because it is authentic only to you. It is a promise because you will always deliver on what differentiates you from others who offer the same or similar skill sets. It is a value because people are compelled to hire, promote and engage with you based on a value they cannot get elsewhere. Strong brands – whether products, places or people – constantly and consistently offer a unique promise of value. The moment they fail to do so, they change from a brand to a commodity. And, let’s face it most people simply do not get excited over common commodities.
From my research, personal branding seems to have been introduced back in 1997 by management guru Tom Peters, who told Fast Company magazine, “We are all CEOs of our own companies, Me, Inc. To be in business today our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU.”
The average person does not see themselves as a brand and does not want to stand out. Career men and women, however, want a good job that provides security, stability and a steady paycheck until retirement. Today, these “careerists” are uncovering, communicating and managing their brand to get ahead. As job security and job tenure decrease and globalization increases competition and social media provides an accessible platform for the average person to finally be, as Tom Peters put it, the “head marketer of their brand,” the time has come to stand out to your employer.
As the employed, we need to understand that standing out is not something reserved only for a business owner. In today’s economy, all career minded people must stand out and differentiate themselves from others with similar backgrounds, all competing for the same opportunities.
As many of us muddle through the current global economic mess and our closer to home fears of another recession, we must open up our minds to change. This is why personal branding is needed now more than ever. As we uncover our personal brands and use their unique promise of value to be more successful, a wake up call will sound – one that does not alarm but, instead, builds a frame of mind that value and reward standing out and that cultivates our own personal brand.
As Tom Peters ended his article, he warned “It’s this simple: You are a brand. You are in charge of your brand. There is no single path to success. And there is no one right way to create the brand called YOU.
Guest Blogger ~ Lonnie Ledford, Avatel Project Manager
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