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November 7, 2014


It’s an expression we hear often especially when it comes to celebrities. Can a person be a brand? Can I be a brand? Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. For years many books were written on the subject of self-improvement but the personal branding concept suggests that success comes from self-packaging. It’s an ongoing process of establishing an image or an impression in the mind of an individual, group or organization.
With the rise of the Internet, branding has become more critical. Online profiles need to be managed. Individuals want to portray themselves a certain way on their social media sites. The creation of this online identity may not be completely true to the real self. Self branding is useful in finding a job or improving one’s professional standing. It can also be a useful tool for employers in vetting potential job applicants. The downside is that personal branding focuses on self-packaging rather than the actual skills, motivation or interests of a person. It is more about self-promotion than self-expression. With self-promotion a person is purposely shaping their image or persona and self-expression can be a by-product of that promotion.
In today’s world, many look toward the leader of a company not just the company itself. When the brand message matches the people leading the brand that can be a powerful tool to attract and keep potential clients. Of course we could say that Oprah is a brand but in fact she isn’t. While many aspects of her empire are endorsed by Oprah herself there are many other people who make the brand bigger or different from the person herself.
If you are thinking about your own personal brand remember that you are constantly creating impressions. That image can either help or hinder you in achieving success. It’s built each time you interact with the people around you so be authentic, real, genuine, clear and consistent in your dealings with others.
In closing I like the quote “Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of someone else”. It seems like good advice to me, me the person as well as me the brand.

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