One of the biggest misconceptions I think people have about personal branding is that you don’t have a personal brand until you create it. Perhaps these people are way too into existentialism, but if you exist you already have a personal brand.
That brand is reflected in every interaction you have with another person.
Their experience of you is your brand. Just like with a product brand you can find different people who experience your brand differently. Being aware of your personal brand also requires that you accept this simple fact. Your job is to be who you are and focus on serving those who are attracted to your brand to the best of your ability. Those who “don’t like” your brand, let them be served by someone else with your blessings.
Some people perceive personal branding as style over substance. I can understand where they get this impression and I see it as confusion between image management and personal branding. In the same way that a new logo for Coca-Cola doesn’t change what’s inside the can, what you wear, how you comb your hair and the nifty catch phrase you came up with for YouTube doesn’t change what’s inside you either.
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