The paradox of personal branding

The paradox of personal branding, Do I care about the image I project or the value I bring??

Recently I read a very interesting article, written by Daniel Romero-Abreu and published from are title Beyond the personal brand: personal positioning and I highly recommend reading, which I extract some parts in this post.

First of all I want to see that Daniel is an authority on the subject, founding president Thinking Heads. It has developed a methodology that transcends, in his words, management of personal branding. It's about the Personal Positioning Strategy (PPS), and defined as “a single management system an individual's personal brand itself and taking action as -in front axle traditional image- models based on the knowledge that the character is capable of generating”.

Reference Article, Romero-Abreu ensures “…Proliferate vendors as vendors Personal Brand Fierabrás balm in times of Don Quixote. However, the purchase of creating a brand that gives you glare is not the magic cure for our ills”. Also it states that “…the brand (personal) It should be the result of what one is or professionally worth, and not vice versa”. Style to the substance is imposed.

I must confess that what is happening with the term Personal Branding It is the closest thing to an adulteration, the creation of an ersatz. First, because the confusion between personal branding (management aware of your personal strategy) and personal brand (the result) It is common in many forums. But secondly it seems that all of substance (background) It is reduced to a minimum, leaving the service of the form.


I imagine a being who comes from another planet lands in the world, and on their own trying to figure out what this is about personal branding and personal branding.

You would find very confusing definition on Wikipedia: starts well: “Personal brand, English personal branding, It is a concept of personal development consisting consider certain individuals as a brand.” I already seems Terribe personal brand that translates as personal branding, when it should be marca personal. But we also consider, without further ado, as trademarks.

And that's not all. That being come from another world would find more elements of confusion, as you can see in the following experiment.

The experiment

I wear time with an experiment observation terminology around personal branding. I take out from various digital platforms, as blogs, networks as Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin y Twitter. Especially, the monitoring center hashtags as #personal brand and #personalbranding.

Normally I keep track Feedly a limited number of professionals who learn and those who respect. In this case, I let go with the flow, without pretending to be selective. Isn't it?, I do not intend to publish a white paper with the results of the experiment, but me being served to ratify the position of Daniel Romero-Abreu.

These are some of the elements associated:

  1. It seems that this is the famous, beautiful people.
  2. It openly maintains that “brand is style”.
  3. In very graphic networks like Pinterest or Instagram, personal motivation phrases monopolize the term.
  4. A Google Alerts, sports record and personal brand go hand in hand.
  5. Get more followers on social networks seems to be the Mecca of personal branding.
  6. The colors you choose in your wardrobe are more important than the way you think and act.
  7. Brand positioning is the place you occupy in Google, not in the minds of others.
  8. Personal brand only exists in digital media. Down the street we leave no mark.
  9. The word “passive income” It is often linked with personal branding.
  10. And I could go…

What is not associated with personal branding and personal branding to

It has cost me a lot, outside the inner circles that I follow, find associations personal brand or personal branding with:

  • Value
  • Adding value
  • Personal strategy
  • Value proposal
  • Purpose the purpose
  • Values

You might conclude that is often confused personal brand management (personal branding) marketing staff, with the elements that make the most visible person.

Not a long time ago, my good friend and mentor Andrés Pérez Ortega, in its post Slavery numbers, He meant that many of the people who defend a strategic idea of ​​personal branding do not appear in searches of personal brand. The reason is that those who dominate the first few pages are the ones who dominate the SEO. Which calls into question, in the opinion of Andrew, which comparto-, the adequacy of Google as a tool “would be” search.

The paradox of personal branding

A while ago I published the post A teacher without personal brand personal brand? It referred to sometimes, who talk about this have been based on those ephemeral evidence, without further investigation. Surely, without having read books like Expertología, without having read Edward de Bono, a Al Ries y Jack Trout, to Ivan Diaz . The paradox of personal branding is that we have to worry about both the value we bring (the bottom) like “how cute” we are on Google.

Our being from another world will have to research a lot to understand that personal branding is not just the image we project, that this, at the end, revolves around the value.

Cover hands photo by Vlue on

About me Guillem Recolons

Convinced that everything leaves a mark, I help companies to better connect with their stakeholders through personal branding programs (personal brand management) and employee advocacy (internal brand ambassadors programs).

Partner at Integra Personal Branding and Soymimarca, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting, AdQualis Human Results and Quifer Consultores.

As lecturer, participated in the Graduate Social Media of UPF and UVic, in various programs at IESE and ISDI, among other. Advertising man, Master en Marketing. Grade student of Humanities.

My DNA comes from advertising 20 years in agencies: BBDO, J.W.T., Bassat Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Altraforma and TVLowCost among others.

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6 replies
  1. Carola Morato
    Carola Morato says:

    Hi Guillem, I very much agree with you.
    I repeatedly encounter with potential customers to contact me to accompany them in the process of personal branding, They are confused. They think they should “created” a personal brand so that people think of them something that initially are not. Personally when I hear “create a personal brand” and I caught all evil.
    I agree with you generally talk about “Personal Branding” only as the result of a mere marketing strategy to achieve a goal and need to understand that there must be a self-assessment process prior to decipher what it is that makes us unique and employable, but always coherence between what we are and we can provide and what we want to show ourselves.

    Greetings and thanks for your posts. It is impossible not to learn anything from each.

    • Guillem Recolons
      Guillem Recolons says:

      prized Carola, It seems that those who are dedicated to this have failed to properly explain the process. Pollution coming from some sectors is terrible. Separate the wheat from the chaff is a work increasingly complex. But we will not surrender. Thank you for your feedback and for your part “evangelism”. a greeting!

  2. Oscar Del Santo
    Oscar Del Santo says:

    All this we have to see within an organizational context in which some large corporations still seem to be guided by the motto of Milton Friedman ('The purpose of a business is to get the maximum ROI possible') and therefore it is antithetical to the best proposals contribution of personal brand values (as evidenced by the relatively recent BP crisis in the Gulf of Mexico or Volkswagen and its Dieselgate).

    When new / as / as CEOs and DIRCOMs have increasingly Masters in Corporate Social Responsibility instead of MBAs will gradually seeing a corporate world where personal branding and value proposition can flourishes in the increasingly autocratic organizational culture. Here's hoping it.

    • Guillem Recolons
      Guillem Recolons says:

      The good side to all this is that more and more new generations are governed by ethics and values ​​and less simple skills or profit. I believe that, as suspicions, retirement of many of our current directors is required to give way to people who believe in the purpose, beyond money or wealth creation. Thanks for comment, Oscar!

  3. Claudio Inacio
    Claudio Inacio says:

    Interesante post Guillem, I had already seen the net several times but today I could only get to read and interesting experiment and conclusions that you bring. I am one of those experiments because I like the end is where I really see actual data, and from there draw conclusions, so I congratulate you for it. A hug and let's follow you that you do very well defending the value proposition ;)

    • Guillem Recolons
      Guillem Recolons says:

      thanks Claudio, I put as an example of adding value. Many of your readers, among whom I include myself- They have improved their knowledge after reading your articles or watch your lectures. And what is better, They have applied. A big hug, friends, among all add!


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