Personal branding is the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands. It has been noted that while previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.

The Importance of Branding

We’ve all heard about how important branding is for our company, department, or business. The ultimate branding goal is for the name to become synonymous with the product. We won’t mention specifics but here are a few examples:

  • When you think of a copy machine what name brand comes to mind?
  • When you think of the term “soft drink” what beverage comes to mind?
  • When you think of quality standards and metrics what comes to mind?
  • What about laundry detergent? Toothpaste? Computer hardware? Financial services giant?

We were just judges at a college case competition based on Google growing market share in China. Guess what? One intent was for Google to become a verb and have everyone “google” what they were looking for. Now that’s branding!

Personal Branding

Branding in business is very powerful; this also holds true from a personal perspective.

What do you want to be known for?

When your name is mentioned what do you think people think of? Is this what you want? What steps have you taken for your name to be aligned with some form of excellence?

The first place to start in your personal branding efforts is to understand your “magic dust” (ie. your gifts, what you excel at).

Do you want to be known for your technical skills? For developing and or nurturing others? For your finance knowledge? For providing a vision and strategic direction? For task and goal attainment? For service to your community? The list is limitless – identify what YOU want to be known for and what you’re passionate about.

Does Your Career Align With Your Personal Brand?

Next step – realistically assess if you are in a position or on a career path where you can promote your personal brand. This can be tough. Add to that a time frame. Are you on the right track or do you need to rethink or change what your ideal job or career is?

We sometimes get caught up in the financial benefits associated with a job instead of considering the actual work. Have you ever known anyone that wanted a promotion yet you knew they would be miserable in that role?

Are You Promoting Your Personal Brand?

On the other hand, let’s assume we are in the right line of work. Are we sufficiently packaging and marketing ourselves so others see the value we add? Do they see our passion, our contributions, and our excellence?

Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to have another person, maybe a mentor or a boss, promote our accomplishments, but in most cases, it’s up to us. Share your accomplishments! Make sure others know the value you provide!