Let's ponder about personal branding…
Personal branding isn't something new. It's a term that has been applied to social media and it is becoming one of the “buzzwords” that is losing its impact with each use. Some have built their careers on personal branding, for example Dan Schawbel with his Personal Branding Blog and some have built their career on being well branded. Personal branding is part of social media whether you like it or not.
Hollywood has been making stars since movies began and this to me was the start of personal branding. Everyone knows the story of Norma Jean Baker going to Hollywood and becoming Marilyn Monroe. They took a beautiful girl and polished her up a bit. Was she gorgeous when she began her journey? Absolutely. The key is personal branding should enhance your natural gifts and talents without changing your essence. Take for example people who go to Hollywood and have a lot of plastic surgery, thus altering themselves sometimes to the extent that you cannot even recognize them any longer. This extreme alteration is an example of branding gone bad.
As a example within social media, people who have cartoon avatars of themselves that do not represent who they truly are but a characterized version of themselves. There are some who use cartoons but also throw in recent photos of themselves throughout their social media showing their followers who they really are. A combination of both works successfully for some. What are others hiding? Social media can feed on people's egos and maybe they listen to the advice of those who think that it is best to hide behind a logo or cartoon. People want to connect with other people, not logos or cartoons.
Is it vain to want to be personally branded? I say no. Before you leave the house, you brush your teeth, get ready and make yourself presentable for the world. Taking the time to present the best version of you is smart. Don't load a bad, blurry photo and add a sloppy bio. Social media is a very visual world with people making a snap decision on who to follow by a glance at an avatar maybe followed by a peek at your bio if you are lucky.
It is smart to present the best possible version of yourself while remaining true to who you really are. Don't create a personal branding mask, create a more polished better version of you. Your personal brand should be who you are and who you want to be.
“I am going to make you a star” doesn't have to be a bad thing. Here are a few tips:
- Be yourself
- Be unique
- Be consistent
Three basic and easy to follow ideals that can get you very far.
What are your thoughts on personal branding? Love to hear them.
Featured image courtesy of -mrsraggle-via Creative Commons.
Article by Peg Fitzpatrick
Renee Dobbs says
I think it is very important to have a good personal branding with real photo that is consistent on all social media sites. I see too many people use different ones for each and it gets confusing. Plus they change them out all the time and it is easy to miss them when you do not recognize the avatar in your stream/feed/etc.
Peg Fitzpatrick says
I agree about the consistency with the photos and overall branding message. It needs to be the same on all platforms. Sometimes on Facebook on your personal page you can get away with a little bit different message but it is very confusing otherwise.
I agree with you in creating a polished better version of you. A suggestion is to also use a most recent photo for your social media accounts. I think anything over three to five years old is dated. I refresh my avitar each year. When I go to tweet-ups, I am looking for the people I recognize.
Peg Fitzpatrick says
I agree Ann, it is always very strange when you meet people at a tweet-up and don’t recognize them at all. That being said, I do not walk around making the face from my avatar all the time.
I love your new photo that you just changed to, You are an example of someone who is recognizable but able to refresh the picture without it being a big deal.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂