TOL #004 Three misconceptions on personal branding

Feb 21, 2023
personal branding misconceptions

Not all people favor becoming a personal brand. In this Thinking out loud issue, I want to share three misconceptions on Personal Branding I ran into this week. And maybe, you believe them too. Let's find out!


1/ Personal Branding is an emerging new marketing strategy.

Personal Branding is not new in marketing. It is due for a revival because of its economic need.
With some research, I would find examples of personal Branding in the Roman Empire. Still, the famous McKinsey consultant Tom Peters used the word for the first time in 1997 in an article on the FastCompany website.
So why is PB becoming hot again in 2023?
Because what Tom Peters said in 1997 is even more so now: the markets are becoming saturated, we are encountering much of the same, AI is taking a lot of knowledge to another level, and both individuals and companies are looking for more sustainable collaborations in the war on talent. For this, people must get to know each other long before they actually need each other, and even retroactively through research can build a know-like-trust factor. It becomes clear that by creating a personal brand, you can bring out personality and creativity, which is far from being adopted by AI.

2/ You already have a Personal Brand

It is often claimed that you already have a personal brand as soon as you have an online account on social media. Apart from the fact that this is usually claimed by professionals who have not known a life without the Internet, this would therefore mean that if you created an account on LinkedIn that you never post anything on, not even posting your photo, makes you a personal brand. Not so.
What you do have quickly is a reputation. Small or big. Good or bad. People's experience with you allows them to say something about you to others. That sounds like a personal brand, but it's just an 'organic perception.' How you can transfer this reputation to different platforms, regardless of time and space, and do so with intention that's what Personal Branding is all about.

3/ Personal Branding equals ego-tripping

Of course, it's the word "Personal Branding" itself. What makes you so important that you want to put yourself in the shop window next to brands like Coca-Cola or Nike?
It is a thought exercise to dare to formulate an answer to this. By the way, you don't have to take that "Making yourself a brand" literally. You mainly want to be highly recognizable and trustablemake a mark, and have an impact. You give your Personal Brand the interpretation you want.

Making work of turning your reputation into a personal brand has more advantages today than ever because the economic situation demands it and because there are many technological tools accessible to make it work.
If you put in the time, realize that this is not a sprint but a marathon, and intentionally work on the necessary self-knowledge and vision, you can put a beautiful Personal Brand into the world, one that not only serves you as a professional but also as a person, as well as your company and your clients.




I invite you to book a 15 min (free) connect call with me if you want to find out how personal branding could be valuable in your life and career.