Thanks to twitter pal @emailcopywriter for leading me this blog post on personal branding.
I posted a response, but I also wanted to expand on it here:
Why do we have to extricate brand from reputation? A lot of what I teach is about establishing yourself as a value provider, hence your reputation is PART and PARCEL to your brand identity.
There are some great points in this post. I also believe strongly that throwing out the baby with the bath water, as it were, only makes the situation more problematic.
People who make themselves indespensible are not losing their jobs – they’re making their own way. Even if companies collapse, they have other options they can pursue – thanks in part to positioning themseleves and having a great reputation for results.
You can’t have one without the other.
In real life, when a person knows you by your reputation, that’s how you are percieved. It is, in essence your brand. Do you want to be known as a self-centered egoist? That’s your brand. You want to be known as a kind-hearted marshmallow? That’s your brand.
Don’t want to be known at all?
That’s your brand
Trust me. The people who have developed a reputation for excellence and delivering results are rarely out of a job – and if they are it’s by choice.
Employers clamor for people like that. People who are known for delivering the goods on time, under budget, with an amazing WOW factor.
In my opinion, your reputation is NOT separate from your brand, indeed it is the CORE of your brand. Everything I teach about personal branding centers on who you are, and what you’re all about at the core of your being.
Reputation is not the only component of building a solid brand, but my mother ALWAYS equated McDonald’s with a clean restroom and cheap eats when we were travelling as kids. It was part of their reputation. It was a core component of what endeared the brand to my mom.
Personal Branding isn’t just about your smile, what you wear or having your face on a magazine. It’s not just about your message. It’s about CONGRUENCE between your reputation and your message, your image and your demeanor.
You can put on a great dress and have a great smile, but an airhead by any other name will be just as useless at a networking event as the one dressed in rags.
Personal Branding is NOT about creating a facade. It’s about celebrating the best parts of the real you in a way that makes you marketable, in demand, and gives you back control over your business.
When I talk with Direct Sales reps, so often they focus so heavily on the product. I think in light of the recent company closures, it’s safe to say that had those reps been focusing on building their own reputation in the market place (their brand), they would not be in the mad scramble they find themselves in today.
I’m so passionate about this, I’ve started compiling my thoughts into a new book. It’s not just about Direct Sales Reps anymore. Personal Branding is necessary for anyone trying to “be known” in the world. When I think of all the personal brands in high school, I believe even more that there should be a required course on building reputations.
Need I say more?