Conversations about personal branding have become much more commonplace over the past decade. People are “branding themselves” in hopes of leaving a positive, distinguishable impression to others. Many are writing about the need to be proactive in projecting a positive image online or becoming more strategic in what one wears, how one talks, and where one needs to be. Individuals like P. Diddy, Jay-Z, Jordan, Bono, Trump, etc. have all become far bigger than any other brand they have worked for.
Unfortunately, too many categorize branding as sheer external marketing and story-telling. While it’s true that these are elements of the overall process, the core of branding is really about coming to terms with one’s true self (which requires a lot of self-awareness) and identifying core life-goals (which are often beyond physical things). Clarity at this level really drives personal and business decisions that ultimately create the brand perception in the minds of others.
Whenever our company works with clients who are public figures and influencers on personal brand innovation, we work hard to take them back to who they are at their core and what they ultimately want their legacy to be. This process of revisiting their core design helps to inform what they work on, who they align with, and how they engage new opportunities. Things like design, business development strategy, marketing, social, web, etc. then all become integrated by-products of their brand and not the goals.
If you view personal branding as some sort of shallow projecting of an image, you’re going to miss out on an opportunity for finding clarity around who you were designed to be. It’s not about being recognized as someone that you’re not. It’s about living life to the fullest as the person you truly are.
More to come…