What’s Your Personal Brand?

Following my introductory blog post on 1st Person PR, several people have asked me to expand on it. I’ll start with branding. (It’s catchy, it gets SEO, and I just saw The Social Network.)

As a reminder, here’s what I said last November…

As you probably know, individuals – as well as organizations, groups, products and services – are branded (doesn’t always hurt?!). You are known (your “brand”) for skills, resources, services, and personality traits. Are you the go-to person in an emergency situation, a trusted confidant, subject expert, a cooperative (or competitive) colleague? You might be known for your look or style. Or, you could also be branded for less-than-complimentary qualities?!

Our personal and private images often merge…sometimes in interesting or telling ways. For example, if you hear of a job that seems a perfect match for a friend’s skills, would you refer him…based on his personal PR image or brand? Or, wouldn’t you?

Our publics look for brands they can trust, brands that offer value and brands that deliver on their promises. At any moment in time, each of us can be a walking testimonial (or a walking indictment?) for an organization or for ourselves. We’re always making a statement…even if we’re not talking.

Now, when considering how to update this, I found Chris Brogan’s September 27 blog post, “Personal Branding Basics for 2011.”  His advice applies to individuals, entrepreneurial start-ups or established organizations. I think it’s terrific, so, from Brogan, here you go:

 The Tools Are the Afterthought

Your branding isn’t a logo, the same profile pic everywhere, a catch phrase, a theme song. Your branding isn’t a clever little ploy. It’s a whole package, a whole storyline, a promise and symbols. Who cares which tools you’re using? Use the tools that let you tell that story best. If you’re looking for which tools to use, answer these questions:

  • Which tools let you tell the story the best?
  • Where is your audience?
  • What do you want them to do with your promise?
  • Are the tools you’re choosing serving this or no?
  • How much effort is it to maintain your presence and your promise?

That’s a reasonable way to look at the tools, right?

You want to crush it in branding? Focus on experimenting to improve your abilities, executing to bring your promise into the real world, and telling stories by making useful media to build relationships with your buyers and supporters. That’s the real formula. That’s where you’ll see your rewards. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

It’s the best advice I can offer you. For now.

Me, too.

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