I was perusing LinkedIn today and came across an interesting post. Someone said that people need to stop trying to be a “personal brand” and just be themselves: Have unique thoughts and develop innovative ideas on their own. Interesting concept I thought, but isn’t that what having a personal brand is all about?
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We all have some type of “brand”. It’s what makes us unique, what separates us from the pack. Even if you work for someone else, you still need to showcase “YOU”.
Again – separating yourself from the rest.
So back to the LinkedIn post, why are people trying to be a brand? I think the answer is very simple: We live in a culture where everything is branded, your personal brand isn’t anything more than who you are and what you do. Personally, I’ve worked very hard to establish my personal brand as being a resource for my customers. This started when I worked as a residential mortgage lender, I built my business around knowing people and creating business relationships with people that I could refer to my clients and refer my clients to.
I’ve changed Industries but my personal brand hasn’t changed. I maintain a network of people that I can refer friends and clients to and now working in marketing I have a different skill-set to offer to those friends and clients. That’s my personal brand, a referral source. Does everyone have a personal brand? I think so. Does everybody work to establish that brand, probably not.
Owning and running a small business is as hard as building your business brand. You’ve probably heard it before and you’ll hear it again, people buy from people they know, like and trust.
Want to delve into your personal brand and learn how to market that to your advantage? Give me a call at the Red Barn SBU.