Fast Company

The One Question I Always Get on Personal Branding

brand-called-you

Image Fast Company Magazine August 1997

Next year will see the 20-year anniversary of the Fast Company magazine article “The Brand Called You” by Tom Peters. This was two years before his book series, which included “Brand You 50” were published. Most recognize the article as the ‘birth’ of personal branding or at the least the first time that the concept of having a personal brand appeared on the business radar. When you Google “Brand Called You” the article still appears at the top of the rankings. Read the article here

Many people still minimize the power of personal branding and some label it as egotistical and ridiculous. The criticism is legitimate towards those who have likened branding yourself to branding a bar of chocolate. In fact, the intention is to show the contrast between a person and a corporation when it comes to branding.

It probably took ten years after that article, for the notion of owning your personal brand to be embraced as an accepted way of managing your career, business, and even life. Celebrity branding has exploded with constant exposure and an unquenchable thirst for more. This leaves many people feeling inadequate unless they too garner the same visibility. Sadly credibility can sometimes take a back seat.

Social media has been both a blessing and curse and can be blamed for some of the hype, expectation, and disdain that personal branding attracts. But fault can also lie at the feet of the ‘gurus’ and experts who tell you to “Fake it until you make it” or encourage you to turn your social media streams into a one-way flow of personally branding me, me, me that should never be turned off.

When it comes to personal branding the one question I always get is

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