Another hot topic these days, but sometimes the talks on personal branding are very superficial. Set guidelines to success. Easy to follow, but are you really being yourself if you follow the rules?
The aim of personal branding is to create an image around your name and/or your career. You use the ‘brand’ to communicate your skills, personality and values. You want to attract the people in your network. Just as real brands, you promote yourself in order to grow and people will seek your insight in a specific field.
You will be told to use the same display picture and name everywhere around the web. I do agree on the name, then again, I’m a bit biased working in a naming agency. You will always be recognised by your name and it is the easiest way to be found online.
What inspired me to write this blog is a comment from a fellow tweep, commenting on the moustache I chose to sport on my display picture on Twitter; questioning my credibility to talk about personal branding.
Do the looks really matter that much? What if I chose to place a turtle on my head? My display picture reflects my own personal brand; showing creativity and a sense of humour. I truly believe, at least to me, that personal branding is about standing out, by being original as a person. I’d rather have people remembering me by my name or something we spoke about, commenting on something I have written; a joke or article that we have shared.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Another thing I cannot help is changing my hair colour on a regular basis. Perhaps I look different, but my name will always stay the same. I like to change my ‘packaging’. It is all about being innovative.
Who are you?
When it comes to personal branding, you can aim to be a Gary Vaynerchuk, but perhaps you are only a Robert Smith? So what? Robert Smith’s circle will know him for who he is and what he does and that’s how Robert can grow. (Simple name, yes, but a small allusion to Robert Smith from The Cure, didn’t want to use John Smith).
I’m not Gary Vaynerchuk and I don’t want to be him. I’m Eszter Fehér.
I fear that many take personal branding too seriously. If we are talking about branding, we should think about our USP. Why would someone want to interact with you if you are robotically consistent? The word ‘personal’ is there for a reason.
You can dream big, but you need to keep in mind who your ‘followers’ are and who YOU really are.
It’s funny though, I did not expect to receive so many comments about my moustache. Must add, it is not real. Most of them are positive comments and I get lots of direct messages about it. It does stick though, but there’s no shame in being the moustache girl; for now.
But, wait for it, perhaps the turtle on my head will appear in a few months.
The most important thing is to stay true to yourself and the people around you; you are working on your personal branding without even noticing. You can study its basics to succeed, but it will always be what you make it:
It’s a small world after all.
Right, I think this is enough personal branding for today 🙂