the personal branding myth

Personal BrandingI’m tired of the personal branding shtick.

People are people. Brands are brands.

Are there people who are also simultaneously brands? Sure.
Madonna, Seth Godin, Lady Gaga, Warren Buffett, Oprah, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and many more.

If you can drop your name in that list and it not be a game of “one of these things is not like the other“, then I’ll agree that you are a personal brand.

For everyone else, you don’t need to work on your “personal branding”. You just need to maintain something called “personal integrity”.

Going all the way back to the original personal brand treatise by Tom Peters in the late 90s, most of the things that the personal branding movement tells you to do are the same basic social and communication skills you’ve been working on since kindergarten:

  • Be nice.
  • Treat people with respect.
  • Present yourself in a manner that causes others to respect you.
  • Do good work.

Do you have to adapt these basic IRL social skills for use in the business world or online? Sometimes.
Could you take tips from corporate marketing and brand strategies to shape the way you present yourself on paper and online? Absolutely.

But you can’t just sell the sizzle. People eventually want to eat the steak.

If you spend your time actually creating good content instead of worrying so much about the wrapper you put it in, I think you’d find that your “personal brand” would grow by itself.

Chris Houchens is a marketing raconteur & writer. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

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