When I had one of my first marketing jobs my boss at the time told me I should start building my personal brand. I thought this was a bit of a joke. I believed that hard work is enough. As my career continued, my scope of the business world widened along with the awareness that relationships impact pretty much, everything.
The thing about personal branding that didn’t feel right for me was the farce of it. It seemed and still does in some respects, like it’s staged. Through my 20 years of marketing, as a consumer and a marketer, the staged brands, only work for so long. They eventually come unstuck. Consumers, People, are smarter. They see through inauthenticity. They know more than you think they do. They can smell a fake from a mile away.
Which is good, because it means, a good personal brand, is when you are being exactly the person you are. If you want USP – this is it. You don’t get more unique than someone being completely themselves.
It would be impolite to not mention Barnaby Joyce in this article. Up until 6 weeks ago, his personal brand was flying. Things were good. However, this is a distant memory today. The media has ripped into Barnaby, providing copious entertainment for the onlookers.
Politics is a difficult one. You are building a personal public brand from day one. It’s like being in the big brother house, and after week 3 you forget the cameras are on. And then 10 years later, you are in a very senior position and the cracks start appearing. Cracks you didn’t even know that were there. Cracks you might not even believe yourself. But the media has gotten a hold of something and decided to rip in.
Warren Buffet said, ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it’. Yes and No. Depends on how dark it was to begin with. The key to coming good is honesty and vulnerability.
If you are building your personal brand then expect that you will need to get personal. Particularly if you want to cut-through. Genuine connection with people, Otherwise, you will be like everyone else.
If you choose against building a personal brand, then this too, can become personal. Recruiters want to see how active in your industry you are, what network do you bring to an organisation. For aspiring business leaders, if you want to build rapport, providing business direction isn’t enough, people want to feel inspired through your story.
The best part of embracing your personal brand, is that you will attract the right people, just by being more of yourself and less of what you think everyone thinks you should be.
Business Take-Out: What does personal brand mean to you? What would ‘more you’ look like? What are the benefits of personal brand you personally and the business you work in?