Personal Branding Pros and Cons


1.0) Personal Branding – why is it important?

1.1) According to the video, why is personal branding important?

1.2) What are some personal branding techniques does the video mention?

2.0) Personal Branding Tips – 10 Easy Tips for You!

2.1) Why should you brand yourself not your company?

2.2) What would your target audience be?

2.3) What would your tag line/slogan be?

2.4) What does “be professional and have fun” mean?

2.5) What is your specialty?

2.6) What is your story?

2.7)  What does “be yourself” mean?

2.8) What does “be consistent” mean?

2.9) How will you “get it out there”?

2.10) What is your long term plan?

2.11) Foxey tip – Start a blog today!

3.0) How NOT to Build Your Personal Brand

3.1) Don’t be fake but be genuine.

3.2) Don’t be wishy-washy but take a stand.

3.3) Don’t act before thinking.

3.4) Don’t go for quantity over quality.

3.5) Avoid the quest for fame but become selectively famous.

3.6) Don’t run out of steam.  What does “slow and steady” mean?

3.7) Don’t forget real world relationships.

3.8) Don’t go it alone.

3.9) Don’t make it all about you.

3.10) Don’t forget to measure.

4.0) My Own Personal Critique of Personal Branding

4.1) You Need to Brand Something with some Inherent Value

A brand needs an underlying product and/or service that has some merit on its own minus branding.  You can gift wrap garbage but in the end people will still figure out that garbage is garbage when they unwrap the package and probably not be happy.  Vaporware and scams ultimately create problems rather than solve problems.

4.2) Image versus Hard Work

I think that generally in the long run dealing with your image directly via marketing is no replacement for hard work and well done work that slowly but surely gains you a reputation for being a competent professional at work.  I would not pick my heart surgeon because of his or her online identity.  On the other hand someone who works hard and does not do some marketing of their work is missing opportunities.  Time is a limited commodity and time spent marketing your work is time not spent doing work for your company!  Again, time spent with personal branding coaches, books, tapes and networking is time not spent on office work!  A balance between personal branding and the “boring” work at the office must be achieved for success at work and deciding that optimal balance is no easy task.

4.3) Pseudo Science and Personal Branding

Beware of the “Law of Attraction”!  The Law of Attraction states that likes attracts likes and positive thinking can create a positive life.  Thought in this theory is treated as energy that can affect external events directly.  There is zero evidence that thought alone can affect external reality.  Sometimes quantum theory terminology is used to justify the idea that though minus action can affect external events but even a minimal understanding of physics shows there is no empirical evidence for this point of view.  I am sorry to say pseudo science is slowly creeping into the literature of personal branding and this should not be a surprise.  The Law of Attraction can be very attractive, pun intended, for persons who have trouble putting their ideas into action.  The Law of Attraction can make lazy people feel good and there will always be those who sell points of view that make people feel good even if this is not in the best interest of the client.

On the other hand, there is evidence from Positive psychology that optimists have many advantages in the work and in interpersonal relationships over pessimists because their belief system affects action and optimists are less likely to give up in tough situations.  The underlying assumptions of your own personal branding guru (s) should be examined deeply.

4.4) Is Personal Branding Too American?

In many Confucian cultures asserting your individualism can be seen as the worst sort of bragging and backfire.  Social harmony is a more important goal in Confucian societies than in the US and personal branding might be seen as not just selfish but as even disloyal to the company.  I have lived in Asian countries for over 14 years and have direct experience with this Asian point of view.  The epicenter of personal branding is the US and this idea may not export well to other countries especially Asian countries.  Personal branding may be a reflection of an American ethos in which individualism is prized and fitting in the group is less important than in other cultures.

4.5) Authentic Personal Identity May be Too Complex for Branding

Hugh Fox Two-Face

Will the real Dr. Fox please stand up?

5.0) What do you think?

Find a partner and together write down a short paragraph about what you think about personal branding and share this paragraph with the class later.

Scribd handout at:

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