You (yes, YOU!) are a brand

image credit - http://bit.ly/17W0ihj

image credit – http://bit.ly/17W0ihj

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I often write about personal branding. I read an article recently that reinforced what I say (daily) about the importance of discovering and refining your personal brand. Contrary to what some may say or believe, you – yes YOU – are a “brand”. Whether you like it or not, your image and reputation (and even your appearance and demeanor) “sell” you to others every day. Once you accept that fact, you can begin to craft how YOU want to be portrayed (instead of floating along on a sea of opinion created by others).

That said, don’t develop a false sense of security that “branding” = catchy adjectives and buzzwords that you use to describe yourself. Liz Ryan emphasizes this point in her latest article:

The Five Deadly Personal-Branding Illusions

…A personal brand is nothing complicated or smarmy. It’s just a way of describing yourself to people who don’t already know you. People protest “Oh, I don’t have a personal brand, and I don’t want one” but that’s like saying “I choose not to cast a shadow when I walk in the sun.”

You’ve got a personal brand, whether you like it or not. Sometimes, people talk about you when you’re not there. That’s not a bad thing. It’s been this way since men evolved from apes (no cracks about how that process is ongoing, ladies).

Ryan reminds us that forming opinions is nothing new…

If it makes you queasy to think that people would judge or classify you based on your clothes or your accent, then ask yourself “Have I ever made a snap decision about someone just by looking at them, without conversation?” Most of have to answer “Yes” to that question.

…and offers her readers the “five deadly personal branding solutions:

Tasks; Trophies; Zombie; Praising Adjectives; Abstract

Click the title (above) to read the article in its entirety (and be sure to read what others are leaving in the comment section…and add your own voice to the dialogue). Before you go, take a moment to read Ryan’s excellent summation (my emphasis in bold):

So what do you do for a personal brand, avoiding the five booby traps listed above? You simply tell your story…Skip the corporate-speak jargon and sound like a human being…Brand yourself as a human being with a point of view, a history and a voice.

‘Nuff said.

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