Those of us involved in personal brand management, known as personal branding, have been trying for years to avoid misunderstanding; and I'm afraid we haven't succeeded. .
The Chief Operating Office of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, made that very clear a couple of years ago. It was within the framework of an interview by Jessica Holand on the BBC entitled "The case against personal brands”. She saidYou don't have a brand, so don't pack yourself like a brand. ".
If you have just a minute, here's a video summary (in Spanish):
You don't have a brand. You leave one (or many) brand/s.
Sandberg referred to the personal brand as a limited version of the person. In her own words:
What we each have is a voice, which can be complex, contradictory and sometimes wrong. Don’t package yourself. Just speak honestly, factually and from your own experience.
I couldn't agree more with her. A few days ago in this same blog I was talking about personal brand and vulnerability. We are wonderfully imperfect, and vulnerable. That sets us apart from machines (for the moment).
Contradiction, empathy, honesty, facts and experience are part of the rich and complex personal brand we print on others. You don't have a brand, Starbucks has, and Zara, and Audi. Dali did not have a brand, he left a brand, a great legacy. Churchill did not have a brand. He left several brands.
Each person will interpret you in a different way, and that's why one can leave a personal brand that's not homogeneous between different people.
The misunderstanding: to think personal brand is created as if it were a trademark
When someone speaks of "create" your personal brand begins the confusion. I know no one talks about "creating" with malicious intent. But if you create brand, It will be packed, designed in a unique way, as a commercial product. We have fought hard against this. The issue is not to create a character. Personal branding is more complex, as much as the personal brand. The corruption of the term personal branding comes from far away and people who have university doctorates.
The first American evangelists (William Arruda, Dan Schawbel, Tom Peters, Catherine Kaputa, Seth Godin, Brenda Bence, Jason Alba…) They spoke of 'create'. But for me, creativity is to start from scratch, or as the publicist says Toni Segarra, is 'do not copy'. And personal branding not part of zero, because it is, according Jeff Bezos, "what say you others when aren't on your side".
Another confusion: personal image with personal branding
Sandberg also equates to personal image personal brand. In his words:
The emphasis on presenting a strong public image is especially pronounced in these times of economic uncertainty; a “giant economy” growing and fiercely competitive has made digital profiles a crucial part to take advantage of work opportunities.
He's right, at times VUCA, If you are one more, disappear. But it is not a strong public image. It is your own public image, without further ado: that you already differs from those who do not. But please, Deletes the word "strong" from your vocabulary, because it can lead you to modify your image.
I do not advocate that at any time we communicate with our failures, but it is absurd to introduce ourselves as infallible beings. Just explain in this blog the difference between personal image and personal branding, and also the difference between personal branding and reputation. Language creates reality, so they say the coach.
We do not sell us. Buy transformation.
Another common confusion about personal branding is the need "to sell us". Isn't it?, Personal branding, will not be. It will be self-conscious, understand if that project (the brand) is aligned with what we are (the identity), you will create a plan clinging to a value proposition, a relevant difference. And of course, Finally there is a marketing stage, We should let us see, without that our potential customers will not see us to an aggregator of value, a transformer.
What we sell is our job. But not the time that we spend, but the value that we add. Unfortunately, many companies still pay their employees by heat Chair (weather). That will change to results, transformation, to value. My daughter will see it. Fortunately.
In summary, personal brand is corrupt, but not dead
A long time ago that among colleagues we are talking about the need to change the term "personal brand. Several ideas have emerged. Daniel Romero-Abreu, "Thinking Heads of President speaks of"Personal positioning”. Andrés Pérez Ortega prefer"personal strategy”. I speak of human branding"Human branding”. The term marks staff is corrupt, especially if people as relevant as Sandberg understood it in a unique sense of marketing.
Accepted proposals. At the moment, and leave misunderstandings, I consider myself to be a strategist of personal branding that also applies in training and conferences.
Remember, you have an identity and leave a rich brand, complex varied... and only. Discover it, working on it, shape it, understand it and always with moderation, project it. Or not.
Stock Photos from Iko / Shutterstock.