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The Art of Personal Branding Part 1 – Personal Brand Identity

The art of personal branding is important because it will help you capitalize on opportunities to distinguish yourself and enhance your public image. Learn how to maximize your market value through personal brand development. Gain insights that enable you to become the architect of your own brand image and identity.

By taking charge of your brand, you can create a unique public persona. Think about how to portray yourself, whether you are in the job market, networking, creating a blog, organizing a business, or setting up a Facebook® page.

Your Personal Brand’s Asset and Commercial Value

The property right in your personal brand may have unrealized commercial potential. People create personal brands to market themselves and their products, services and businesses. People trade on the commercial value of their personal brands, particularly those with well-known identities. For small business owners, their brand names are often synonymous with their businesses.

Well-known or not, your personal brand may be developed through the use of your name and likeness on blogs, websites and social media accounts. You may promote yourself and your brand through news stories, résumés, biographies, books, films, record labels, and other forms of communication. You may also use conventional advertising to build your brand image and reputation.

Brand exposure can be helpful when it increases commercial value, enhances social status or draws attention to advocated causes or views. Exposure that is unwanted, untrue, or used to tarnish a person’s reputation has the potential to create harm.

Whether actively seeking publicity or hiding in plain sight, it’s advisable to pay attention to your public persona, especially through Internet and media exposure.

Brand Research

Your personal brand image is a reflection of how you see yourself and how others perceive you. Find out how you are being viewed. With the widespread popularity of smart phones and social media tools, managing one’s public persona has become necessary and challenging on and off-line. Friends, employers and even adversaries use public information about individuals in unforeseen ways. Twitter® is an excellent model for this very purpose, because the people who follow you on Twitter indicate how you are perceived.

Learn what has already been made public about you. Research how you are currently portrayed in the media, on the Internet, and by friends and colleagues. Periodically conduct an electronic search on your name. Check the results to make sure the information is an accurate portrayal of you and your actions. If possible try to correct any misinformation, particularly if you have become a victim of identify fraud.

It might surprise you to find your name already in use by someone else. In building your reputation, you don’t want to become confused with someone who has the same name. If you discover someone with the same or a similar name, distinguish yourself to avoid confusion.

Personal Brand Definition & Image

Branding oneself is similar to branding a sports team, product, service or company. Those who are not in the public spotlight often leave this to chance. Many people go through life allowing others to talk about, photograph and label them. Some images and labels might not be to their liking. Facebook is an excellent way to see how the content you are posting is being received. This is done by how much your posts are liked, shared and tagged.

Artists may be recognized by their signature styles or names. An author or actor may be known under a pseudonym (pen name or stage name). These become part of their brand identities. Team logos, player numbers and other indicators are used to identify athletes. Unique symbols and caricatures are also ways of differentiating individuals without actually identifying or describing them.

Defining your brand is simply a matter of identifying and promoting yourself in a memorable way, one that differentiates you. In the identification process, look at your unique actions and attributes. These do reflect values, personality, behavior or signature style. Consider what worth they might bring to your market. Protect your personal brand.

For more information, look for The Art of Personal Branding: Personal Brand Distinction / Part 2 of this two-part article.


  © 2012 Anne Wall, All Rights Reserved.

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