What stops people from investing in their personal brands? Why do people do it less even when they know they need to focus more often? How can you overcome these bottlenecks while pursuing your personal branding goals?
Over the last few months, I have been talking to numerous people ‘like you and I’ about what personal branding means to them, how they think and act, what motivates them and how they make a difference. These are not celebrities or media superstars in any right. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary work and yet aware of the power of personal branding to create awareness about their efforts.
This has resulted in over 30+ interviews, a majority of them video conversations which are hosted on my YouTube channel for anyone to watch and gain insights. That apart, I have also created a personal branding course on Udemy based on a model that works for anyone keen to create a niche for themselves.
I wanted to share perspectives on a few myths that people have about personal branding, what holds them back and how they can relook at the barriers – which to me are mostly in our heads! Personal branding is understanding yourself first well enough to help others to get better with their lives. This is best done in a values-led, consistent, and authentic manner by staying true to who you stand for.
· Personal branding is unnecessary: Most believe that hard work is enough. You don’t need to do something else or extra to make yourself known. We all have priorities and some more. Like it or not, personal branding is something we do every day unconsciously. In our interactions, the choice of words, the actions we make, the extent to which we help others around us, our expressions and tone of voice – we are sending our messages about who we are, what we stand for and why must or why mustn’t others care. Since we already are sending these signals, we might as well do so with intent and focus! Being conscious of these ‘projections’ and taking control of them are ways of curating your personal brand in ways that are authentic.
· Personal branding is for celebrities: We associate personal branding with celebrities because we tend to see them as ones who are in the spotlight. The attention they garner, the way they engage on social media, the connections they build and the money they make, gets us to believe that what they do is personal branding. My belief is that celebrities need personal branding the least. That’s because due to their work and the attention it draws there are already aspects of personal branding at play. Their motives, image, approach and social media engagement are done with the purpose of gaining followers and getting famous. Others (people like you and I) can and must do more and in earnest to tap the power of personal branding. Take an assessment to know how you fare with your personal brand.
· Personal branding doesn’t suit my personality: Irrespective of your personality, personal branding is going to get shaped, whether you like it or not. Either by you, or without your involvement and awareness – by others. How they speak about you, create a narrative about your life and accomplishments will result in you having a positive, neutral or negative image. Once an impression is formed, it takes much time and effort to change it to what you want people to think it is. Therefore, you don’t need to be an extrovert to get started with personal branding. Too much exposure is as bad as too little awareness about your personal brand. It is a fine balance which needs a deep understanding of your own self, the environment you operate in and what you can offer for others around you that will fulfil their needs.
· Personal branding is for social media influencers: Who said personal branding is only about social media or for those connected online? In recently blogged about the level of trust among influencers – which probably should give people like you and me – a lot more confidence! Social media channels are vehicles to get your message out, engage with your audiences and gauge the impact you can make or making. However, without credibility, authenticity, and respect offline, there is little chance that the online charade will last long. With access to information easier than before, your actions and inaction are constantly monitored and evaluated. There have been numerous examples of people falling from grace due to their inability to match their words and actions – which has nothing to do with social media at all.
· Personal branding is a huge investment: I don’t know where to start is often a lament most people have about their personal brand. That is a good problem to have rather than not even be aware of what you stand for or do. There are also concerns that personal brand needs a lot of funding. That isn’t true. It needs investment in terms of focus, passion, time, effort, and commitment. No matter how much money you put into building a personal brand, without the above-mentioned factors, the funds can go to waste.
· Personal branding can’t be measured: It sounds like an esoteric goal. Can personal branding be measured?Many believe that personal branding is measured through the amount of wealth or fame that is garnered. Also, the number of followers one has on social media pages. This doesn’t give the true picture. Personal branding can be measured in terms of your ability of influence, your ability to give back, the positive impact you make and how much you are sought for your engagement.
Do these reasons resonate with you? Are there other factors holding you back? Share your thoughts here.
Keen to get ahead with your personal brand? Here are some resources:
· Take this course – Personal Branding 101: Unlock Your Potential and Stay Ahead
Missed the Personal Branding Series episodes? Read the interviews with Muqbil Ahmar, Tinu Cherian Abraham, Joseph Fernandez, Christina Daniels,Karthik Srinivasan,Gautam Ghosh, Alexander Michael Gittens, Mubeen Azeez, Itzik Amiel, Mangal D Karnad, Abhijit Bhaduri, Sandeep K Krishnan PhD, Scott Shirai, Sunil Robert, Latha Vijaybaskar PhD, Abha Maryada Banerjee, Dr. Amit Nagpal, Sukanti Ghosh, Amith Prabhu, Dave Carroll, Prof. Deva Rangarajan, Ramesh Thomas, K V Dipu, Chip Helm,Suresh Ramdas, Karthik Nagendra PhD, Jeppe Hansgaard, Raja Karthikeya and Atamjeet Singh Bawaonline and share your thoughts.
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