The goal of a personal brand is to be more authentic through a defined purpose

As of late, I have been reading a number of articles proclaiming the end of personal branding. In fact, some articles have gone so far as to say that personal branding is no longer needed. The general consensus from those articles seems to be that people do not need to create brand narratives to describe themselves. The articles are full of sweeping claims stating the obvious. For example, “People are people. They aren’t brands.” — I concur! The goal of a personal brand is to be more authentic through a defined purpose, not the personification of something. They urge a shift to more responsible social media management in lieu of the development of a personal brand.

The simple fact is that personal branding is inextricably linked to social media whether we agree or not. Your personal brand is not solely based on your perspective, but I would argue largely on the perceptions from others; your personal brand is the aggregate of positive and negative as seen largely through the lens of others.

Here are a few tips to help you with your personal brand:

  1. Define Your Purpose Then Start Branding – Most people automatically feel they are a brand. That may be true but strong personal brands have a definitive purpose. This has a synergistic effect and gives you a roadmap when aggregating and posting content on social media. The DISC assessment is a great way to find out your personality type and what kind of leader you are.
  2. Be Authentic on Social Media – Show the real you. It is becoming imperative to build an authentic personal brand highlighting both positive and negative. When framing negative moments, always find a lesson that you learned and how it helped you. Authentic moments have the ability to humanize as well as show that we are all fallible — savvy brands learn from their failures and successes.
  3. What Do You Offer Different (Value Proposition) – As important as it is to define your purpose, it is of utmost importance to differentiate yourself. In today’s hyper-competitive world, it is crucial that you build your case of what you do differently. This is done most effectively through storytelling or providing case studies as your proof.
  4. Refrain From A Constant “YOU” Commercial – The days of endless self-promotion are officially over. The quickest way to lose followers is to constantly promote yourself. Seek to promote others. Become a curator of content that speaks to your purpose or product with the goal of adding value.
  5. Add Value To Others – When you help others, you are essentially helping yourself. In Adam Grant’s, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, he writes you should be willing to do something that will take you five minutes or less for anybody. We can all add value to others by small deeds like a recommendation, referral, or an introduction.
  6. Align With A Cause – Find a cause or organization that can benefit from your skill set. This is a great way to show your selflessness and goodwill is a hallmark of all savvy brands. If you consider yourself a great brand, build goodwill.

On your mark, set, go build your brand!