Dan Schawbel on Personal Branding

Personal Branding.  It works.  And doesn't hurt.(Day 2 in Las Vegas (tomorrow I fly to Chicago for almost three days) – I’ve met some amazing people that I’ll blog about next week. Today is a guest post from Dan Schawbel, who blogs on personal branding – Thanks a ton Dan! Whether you (my reader) are new to personal branding or not, this is a great post with much to think about)

I’m here to tell you today that every single one of you have a unique Personal Brand. You don’t have to be Oprah, Donald Trump or Tom Cruise to stand out and be excellent. All you need to do is discover what is inside of you, your strengths and how you can portray them to your audience positively.

This is easier said than done, but like anything else, you need to put your time in. The more time you allot to discovering, brainstorming and developing your brand, the higher the output you will receive.

Personal Branding is completely in your control. Many students and professionals alike have confronted me on this subject, and those with stronger Personal Brands are ones that invest the time. What do you need to invest time in? Developing a strategy focused on where you are, where you want to be and how you will meet those goals or objectives. These goals could be internships, jobs, education, skills development, communication classes or simply a mentor to guide you. You may also look to those who are already accomplished to gain further insight.

The top Personal Brands in the world share these characteristics:

  • Determination to succeed
  • Focus on a particular niche market
  • Short-term and long-term goals that are aligned
  • Leverage all assets and personal network
  • Opportunistic and politically savvy
  • Turn failures into successes, without giving up

Remember that, it all comes down to how others perceive you, so you need to make a lasting impression. The only true way to do this is to have some of the qualities listed above and to understand who you are. Personal Branding expert Dan SchawbelYour audience can see right through you if you’re being phony or fail to project the “real you.” That’s not to say that you can evolve your brand over time to match other qualifications, but at the root of it, you must be yourself to be respected.

Dan blogs at The Personal Branding Blog – go check him out. He recently awarded Carl Chapman with a personal branding award for his own blogging efforts (this is not related to the JibberJobber You Get It award).

Branding your company is extremely important.  Consider getting your company’s name out there and buy great promotional items such as personalized coolers and personalized pens here!

5 thoughts on “Dan Schawbel on Personal Branding”

  1. Hey Dan:

    You are absolutely on target! Strong, compelling personal brands are not an accident. They are nurtured, strategized, refined, and they are always top of mind. Every career or personal choice is — at some level — a brand choice: Is it on brand or not? Will it support the brand, or not? Will it build brand authenticity and visibility, or not?

    Strong personal branders know the power of branding, and its need for consistent attention. In fact they welcome branding because it gives shape and focus to their actions. Everything they do has a distinct purpose. In fact every action attracts the notice of the brand’s target and leaves “non-targets” uninterested.

    And that’s a good thing – because great branding, built on authenticity and passion, simplifies decisions by automatically “repelling” opportunities that aren’t a fit — the stronger the brand the more aligned the opportunities — the others fall away.

    I’ve been a career management professional for executives since 1989, and exclusively for C-level execs since 1999, and my clients have always done well. But since becoming a Certified Personal Brand Strategist in 2004 (through the ReachCC.com branding program), I’ve seen my clients’ success skyrocket when they purposefully focus on building personal brands that enhance their already stellar value propositions.

    The biggest benefit I convey to them is that top talent will usually make it to the short list – but how hard will it be to get there? Purposeful branding activities build visibility so that execs become the hunted rather than the hunter. Once on the short list, how hard will it be to win out over superstar competitors? Purposeful branding builds the chemistry that is often the key decision-making tool, when all else is relatively equal.

    Effectively coupling personal branding with a strong value proposition is, in my opinion, the defining difference between “We’ve gone with the other candidate.” and “What will it take to get you on board?”

    Thanks for a great post, Dan!

  2. Dan and Deb,

    You both hit the mark on this one. Since networking is no longer about who YOU know but rather, WHO KNOWS YOU, personal branding is “the” way to make sure you attract those people who need to know about you.

    The combination of a strong brand and a strong value proposition are the difference between winning the opportunity you want or settling the job you can get.

    Cindy Kraft, the CFO-Coach

  3. Hi Dan, Deb, and Cindy!

    You’ve all made such great points, and together you underscore the power of personal branding. Yes, it does take work. One would think that people have a grasp of who they are, and on some level I suppose they do.

    Yet, just as fish may be oblivious to the existence of water, without knowing how others see us, we have little hope of managing our brand environments, achieving our goals, and experiencing success. Just as significantly, without brand clarity, we may miss opportunities to effectively deliver value for others. And after all, it’s the value we deliver that will make a difference in our careers and in our lives!

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