Branding Blog

What is personal branding?

Written by Dale Berkebile | Fri, Oct 30, 2009

I have noticed recently that the term personal branding is being thrown around all over the social networking sites. So what does this actually mean?

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Personal Branding:

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. Further defined as the creation of an asset that pertains to a particular person or individual; this includes but is not limited to the body, clothing, appearance and knowledge contained within, leading to an indelible impression that is uniquely distinguishable. The term is thought to have been first used and discussed in an 1997 article by Tom Peters.

Personal branding often involves the application of one's name to various products. For example, celebrity real-estate mogul Donald Trump uses his last name extensively on his buildings and on the products he endorses (e.g., Trump Steaks).

So, why is this so important or why should we care what Donald Trump does? Well chances are, many people could learn a lot about success by studying Donald Trump. I personally am not a big fan of Trump, but when it comes to business and personal branding, I am highly impressed with what he has accomplished.

Trump is a genius when it comes to personal branding. He puts his name on everything he touches. The key to this success though is you must only put your name on something that meets or exceeds your personal standards. Trump puts his name on top-dollar items which makes him seem top-dollar. As soon as he puts his name on a low dollar item his credibility is shot.

This is the same with personal branding for anyone. The goal is to be consistent and repetitive in everything you do, how you dress, how you answer the phone, how you send an email, how you write a blog article, and the list goes on and on.

The great thing is that just like a business a person can brand themselves. To be successful you need to be in front of people on a regular basis and doing things that people notice and that start to become known as "unique-to-you". Look at Paris Hilton. What has she done to be well known? She rocked the LA social scene and started networking with hollywood royalty, rockstars and the like. I'm not sure the any publicity is good publicity as Parris has experienced, however I know her by name and about a lot of her silly antics and I do not keep up with the gossip rags.

The point is this. If you want to get a better job, establish yourself as an expert, get better clients, then start branding yourself now. How do experts in this industry dress, either start dressing like the top people you want to be or buck the system and dress the opposite (Paris or Lindsay Lohan style). Start doing the things these successful people are doing and you too can be successful. Do what Donald Trump is doing, start putting your name on items you sell or promote.

If this is too much, why not start easily by creating your personal brand online in the social media. Start blogging and sharing your knowledge. Start interacting with others in your industry and or prospective job or clients industry. Set yourself up as an expert in this industry by sharing unique and interesting content. You too will start to build a following and the personal brand will start growing into the online version of Trump.

Here is a quick question we ask our clients and prospects and this will fit here as well. Are you brand wise?

If you want that dream job, dream client or whatever, you'll need to get brand wise! 

Good luck!