Some people take it too far.
They take the “personal” out of personal branding, and refer to themselves as a “brand”.
They think of themselves – and ruthlessly market themselves – as a product.
And they speak and write about “Brand Them” incessantly.
Along with referring to themselves in the third person, being a brand somehow gives them license to shamelessly self-promote their product . . . that is, themselves.
They feel that having a brand automatically makes them an expert at something.
This tiresome self-promotion shows that they don’t really understand what personal branding is all about. I think they help give authentic branding a bad name.
The Onion hilariously spoofed this phenomenon in the news report, ‘I Am A Brand,’ Pathetic Man Says:
Sad, pathetic local web developer and blogger Phillip Cathin, 34, told reporters today that he sees himself as “a brand.”
“I am my own product,” the little worm said while staring at a laptop and depressingly shuffling between his Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Tumblr accounts, which he claimed are “essential tools for growing [his] personal brand” on a daily basis. “I think of myself as the creator, developer, and marketer of Brand Phillip Cathin. And the ideas I come up with are products produced by that brand.”
Although not a real person, Phillip Cathin is an all-too-real player across social media. He represents so many people who grate on our nerves with constant self-promotion and brand-spiel.
Personal branding is merely a tool we can use to help us differentiate our unique value in the marketplace. Branding helps us best communicate and position ourselves as a good-fit for target employers (in job search) and target clients (in business).
A plea to overzealous branding fans – please give us a break. Cut the monotonous brand-talk.
Take a closer look at what personal branding really is. Move forward with an understanding of what makes you a good-fit candidate and build your brand communications strategy around it.
Tell us about yourself, not about your brand. Show us who you are by “doing”. We’ll catch on.
photo by anniehp