Personal branding seems to be a major buzzword at the moment. Everyone is climbing on the personal branding wagon in hopes of claiming instant success. With all these hustlers building inspiring careers it’s easy to get excited and a bit overwhelmed. But there is no reason to be overwhelmed. You are reading this blog so you totally have what it takes to pull it off! So how do you get started, right?! Bet you’re asking yourself, What the heck is a personal brand? Do I need one? And a million other questions are probably running through that head of yours.Honestly, the question you should be asking is, Am I ready to brand my life? But let’s go ahead and walkthrough your questions, shall we…
In 1997 Tom Peters wrote an article for Fast Company where he talked about “The Brand Called You” This was the birth of the personal brand. The entire concept of a personal brand was, and is, to get individuals, YOU, to build a brand that allows them to stand out in a room of cubicles. So, the idea of a personal brand is really simple. Build a brand the same way a company like Apple or Nike would, but this brand isn’t for a company. It’s for your career. In another article for Fast Company, Barry S. Saltzman writes, “It provides a clear focus for personal development while establishing yourself as a thought leader.” You’re building a reputation as a leader or influencer for your niche industry. So by this definition, if you are looking to further your career, land a better job, build a business or really do anything in the “career” sphere, you need a personal brand.
Peters wrote, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc.” So it is pretty safe to say that if you are reading this, you need and should have a personal brand. But here’s the thing… Today, we live in the era of the Millennial. Millennials want a connection, honesty and authenticity. They want more than a personal brand showing them how awesome you are at your job. They want to really get to know you. To understand why you are so brilliant. They also want the good stuff and the bad. They want it all. They want the WHOLE picture. This is where that question of Am I ready to brand my life? comes in.
Say hello to the new face of personal branding, Life Branding. Life branding is just like a personal brand. You are branding ME Inc. BUT instead of simply branding your professional image you are branding the whole shebang. You are branding your career, your relationships, your style, your health, your home. EVERYTHING! In 2008 Merrill Lynch estimated that in 2020 about 46% of the workforce will consist of Millennials. So it is safe to say that whatever age group you are, you will be working with or for one. Or Are One!
So it is time we start thinking about what that means for the current mainstream idea of a personal brand. We have to be more open and authentic to who we are and what our values are. Companies are getting to a point where they care less about what a piece of paper says about your job history and more about who you are as a person. They want to be sure that your values match their values and ideals.
Just look at what companies are doing today. They are taking down store walls, so to speak, and giving you an inside look into the life and heart of the company. They are showing it all. The processes they use, what their HQ looks like, inside looks into their employees. Anymore, you really have an incredible opportunity to dig into a company brand and get connected. So why aren’t we doing more of that? It is really jiving for the big companies like 86 Lumber or Facebook.
So to grab that instant success you have to start thinking outside the box of personal branding. Expand your limits and brand your entire life. Start by creating a brand strategy. Really dig deep into what is most important to you and how you live your life, now and in the future. We will really dive into creating a brand strategy later on but basically you need to create a guide book of how the brand of YOU is going to look and feel. Really think about how you want others to see you as a human and as a professional. Just be sure you are staying true to YOU. No one likes a phony. The process to building your brand is not easy. But grab a glass of your fav bubbly and get branding. Because if you brand your whole life you will not only be more prepared for a millennial workforce, but you will live a truly fulfilled life where the possibilities are endless.
We want to hear from you. Be sure to drop us a note below and let us know how you life brand is going.