Personal branding means different things to different people. When I first set out to build a set of personal branding resources I thought people might find beneficial, I asked a lot of people where they needed guidance, what their goals were, and where their passions lie. Because of the misunderstandings around the term “branding” and the negative connotations associated with those misunderstandings (as well as how it’s been perpetuated through businesses and individuals who abuse it), I found it difficult to use the term. However, personal branding is the term that describes the process through which you build a truthful reputation. The most commonly accepted definition of personal branding is the one put forth by Dan Schawbel, who says:

“Personal branding describes the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition, whether professional or personal, and then leveraging it across platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal. In this way, individuals can enhance their recognition as experts in their field, establish reputation and credibility, advance their careers, and build self-confidence.”

Maybe you’re looking to better understand your strengths and/or values. Perhaps you’re looking to make a transition in your career or are interested in learning how to use traditional and/or social media. Whatever brought you here, I sincerely hope you find real value in reading, watching, listening to, and participating in the journey. To make sure we’re on the same page, here is what I think about personal branding and how I will approach using it to form genuine relationships and build a presence based on your essence.

Personal Branding Is NOT…

  • Shameless ego-stroking and self-promoting
  • A buzz word
  • A logo, tagline, and/or elevator pitch

Why Does Personal Branding Matter?

  • 5 out 6 adults in North America are considering changing jobs
  • You can expect to have 10 jobs in your lifetime—we no longer identify primarily with our job or company, so we need to know ourselves
  • The workforce is not secure—you can’t rely on a company to always take care of you
  • You are more empowered to positively affect you and the people around you
  • We are increasingly concerned with spending time with people and doing things we love

You Do NOT own your brand?

  • Your brand is the collective sentiment held by people who know you or know of you.
  • You have the power to help control that sentiment by building trust, setting proper expectations, and continually exceeding those expectations

Three C’s of Personal Branding

  • Clarity
  • Consistency
  • Constancy

Throughout these lessons, feel free to contact me, ask me questions, correct me, or otherwise engage. I'll do my best to provide the honest information that will provide the most value to you. But please let me know if there is anyway I can provide a better service. I respond most quickly on Twitter at @michaelbmaine.