There are more than 346 million “personal branding” search results in Google, and while most of these “how-to” guides are useful and inspiring, they also stay clear of the gritty, sensitive, and uncomfortable aspects of having a personal brand.
If you have known me for any amount of time, you know that I am a huge advocate for personal branding. It’s my passion and helloooo, it’s my business. I have been at this for a while (check out my post about 5 Things I’ve Learned in 5 Years of Being a Girl Boss)! But I will be the first one to say there are many misconceptions out there about personal branding. This week, I read a fantastic article called Building a personal brand isn’t always about making yourself look good by Ana Andjelic, and she dives deep into these misconceptions. Let me break down and summarize her article for you:
Be honest. People know when you’re faking it!
Write about what matters to you, and don’t be afraid to step on some toes along the way.
Like Ana stated, there are 346 million personal branding search results in Google. The market is over-saturated with more of the same, and it’s not always about representing “trending topics.” Although it’s important to pay attention to trends, it’s more important to write about what matters to you. Ana says, “Don’t write only to gain exposure and game search engines; do it because you are passionate about a topic and curious to know more.”
Because at the end of the day, there is a difference between being known and standing for something. There are many widely-known personal brands, but there are few personal brands that truly stand for something. And when you do write about what matters to you and what you stand for, you will attract naysayers. Don’t be afraid to step on some toes along the way; it is the cost of being a real and authentic personal brand.
Don’t conform to the industry, but pick your battles and your audience.
Every industry has a certain way of doing things, whether it be because of tradition or because it simply what works. The truth is, you do not have to conform to either. If you see something that doesn’t make sense or something that isn’t right, call it out; however, it is important to pick and choose your battles. You don’t want to be known as that person, going around looking for disagreements. In other words, don’t disagree just to disagree. Disagree because it’s what you stand for and you know what you’re talking about!
Keep at it! Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your brand.
Personal brands do not happen overnight, and they cannot be attributed to pure glamour. It is a result of your hard work, day in and day out. Ana quotes Steve Dool: “What is often missing from the conversation is that personal brand shouldn’t be something you create in a few months with an Instagram boyfriend and a Valencia filter. It should be something that you strive to refine through the value of your work.”
In other words, it’s not all about having a perfectly-groomed social media presence; rather, it’s about doing your job/hobby and being darn good at it! Your personal brand will reflect that hard work.
I LOVED this article! I love learning more about my passion and how we can improve our personal brands. What do you think? Let me know!