You can draw a few conceptual comparisons between the notions of personal brand and employer brand. Both are commonly viewed as dark arts, shrouded in mythos and intrigue. The Fabergé eggs of marketing.
Perhaps a more accurate truth would be to say that EB and PB are similar in the sense that we all have one, even if we don’t realise it.
And in the case of the latter, arguably the key to unlocking its true value is to discover and embrace your personal brand personality.
Here I’ve broken down some of the common personality types I’ve come across. Maybe one will resonate with you?
Common myths about personal brand
Let’s start off by dispelling a few myths about personal brand. For instance, that the very idea of pondering your personal brand makes you a loathsome self-publicist at best, a clawing fantasist at worst. No. Being aware of your personal brand and investing time in honing your image is not a crime. It’s strategically smart to have and share opinions. And more importantly, to seek to help others. This should be the ultimate aim of most online interactions.
Myth #1: You have to be a shameless narcissist to get noticed
Nope. Sure, you might have a few ‘hot takes’ and indulge in some impassioned debate. But if you’re always helping others, you’ll more often than not get the benefit of the doubt for being ubiquitous.
Shama Hyder, CEO at Zen Media, states: “Being a creator isn’t the only way to build a brand.”
You don’t need to be a master copywriter, videographer, podcaster and social media guru all rolled into one. Yes, it helps to have a broad set of skills but a lot of this stuff can be learnt. The key is to be a master storyteller, no matter what your format.Myth #3: People who spout about PB all have ulterior motives
Having a personal brand is simply a by-product of helping others overcome an obstacle. That’s the line of thinking pursued by Obaid Durrani, Head of Organic Social at KlientBoost. And as hinted at, I’m in agreement.
Don't think about building a personal brand, just 'cos. Or because you have grandiose expectations of becoming a thought leader. Do it because you want to be helpful, with a side of interesting. You'll soon see the benefits. To borrow one of Shama Hyder's soundbites, "luck is where people are."
Myth #4: You need to be online 24/7 to receive any gains
To be energised, creative, and engaging, your brain needs ample amounts of rest. Flogging yourself in the pursuit of content creation and engagement is not a sustainable way to build a personal brand. Use systems and tools to do some of the heavy lifting, and set your own personal barriers for interaction.
Which personality type are you?
Of course, there will be more than the four types listed below. But for now, here’s some initial food for thought:
- The creator
You've got all the right kit and a head full of ideas. Ideating, creating, editing and THE PROCESS make you buzz. Creators turn concepts into reality and their creativity is self-evident.
- The connector
You're the introducer, the fixer, the social fabric of your network. You move in a lot of different circles and purposefully cultivate mutually beneficial relationships. You don't necessarily need to be seen all the time, as you'll pop up at all the right moments when it matters.
- The commenter
Responding to posts with useful feedback and guidance is arguably just as important as creating original content. Effective commenters build presence and credibility, simply by showing up and adding something worthwhile to a conversation. This skill should not be overlooked.
- The curator & community builder
What really matters is…
Yep, boring but true. Being present, available and consistent in your message is personal brand 101.
Never stop learning. Your views and mindset don't have to remain static. In fact, it's far more interesting when people share examples of growth and where their perceptions have changed. Stay open-minded.
- Creativity in its many forms!
Carousel posts, infographics, Medium blogs, animations, explainer videos, 30 seconds to camera...however you get your message out there, don't feel restricted by format and methods of delivery. Experiment, test, refine and find out what works best for you.
What's your personal brand personality? Got any others to add?
Hit me up on LinkedIn and let's connect.
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