Branding For Dummies
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The obvious benefit of a strong personal brand is the power of a positive, highly regarded reputation that precedes and paves the way for you whether you’re submitting a resume, asking for a date, making a sales call, leading a negotiation, offering a book for sale, contending for a plum keynote speech role, or prevailing in any other encounter.

The less-apparent benefit of personal branding is the sense of self-direction it instills. Age-old wisdom has it that the oracle of Delphi told Socrates and all ancient Greeks that the most important life task is to “know thyself.” When you know your personal brand, you gain laser focus about who you are, how you want to present yourself, and how you aim to succeed.

Personal branding as a marketplace force

Through personal branding, you help others to know and trust the following information about how you factor into the marketplace:

  • Who you are and what you stand for, eliminating the need for time-consuming introductions before each interaction.

  • Your expertise and credibility, leading to increased interest in what you have to say. Think about how you scan your news feeds and status updates, stopping when you see names or photos of those you trust to have meaningful information to share, or how you respond more favorably to an introduction that includes a recommendation or referral from a trusted associate or mention of impressive credentials or mutual associations.

  • Your unique benefits and value, leading to competitive advantage, higher interest and demand, preference, selection, and higher pricing.

  • What you do best and whether what you offer fits with what they seek and need, speeding decisions and sparing you both from an inappropriate fit.

Personal branding as an internal force

In addition to helping others know you, personal branding helps you know yourself. Through branding, you determine

  • What you’re best at and what unique attribute — what big thing — you want to be known for.

  • The personal brand image you’re working to etch; what you want others to believe and trust when they encounter you or your name.

  • The roadmap you’re following to reach your goals.

  • How you want to present yourself, whether in person, in writing, on social media, in business, or in social settings.

  • Self-confidence in your strengths, your goals, your target audience, and the unique personality, expertise, and message you want to consistently cultivate and convey.

Personal branding keeps you on track. It helps you define your assets, your audience, and your objectives. From there, you can relax and present your authentic self with consistency. Awareness, trust, credibility, value, consumer preference, purchase decisions and pricing, and even invaluable buzz and word-of-mouth support will follow.

What’s more, strong personal brands deliver the valuable benefit of consumer lenience. On the off chance you slip up with an errant tweet, a social faux pas, or some other misstep that could irreparably harm someone else, the great reputation and positive image others hold for you — thanks to personal branding — improves your ability to make amends and move on with strength.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Bill Chiaravalle served as Creative Director with world-renowned brand strategy and design firm Landor Associates before founding Brand Navigation, which has been honored with numerous branding, design, and industry awards. Barbara Findlay Schenck is a nationally recognized marketing specialist and the author of several books, including Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies.

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