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I think the concept of “personal branding” is a scam to extract money from the insecure.
Am I alone in not getting the buzz around the concept of personal branding?
On Twitter, I closely monitor conversations about branding and I am constantly sifting through article after article about “personal” branding. From what I can gather, personal branding is like any other kind of branding, applied to your public perception as an individual.
While I agree that you should go on Facebook and remove pictures of you barfing in the garbage can at a college frat party, and you should put forward the best possible image to match your aspirations, I don’t believe that you can create a personal brand that isn’t real. You either are remarkable, or you aren’t. You are either compelling and engaging, or you’re not.
You can paint a picture of yourself on-line to portray yourself as something you aren’t, but it won’t take long for the real world to figure you out.
The best brands - personal or otherwise - are authentic. They reflect that authenticity in everything they do. They are unique and proud of it. They take part in sincere conversations and exchanges with their customers. They accept that they won’t be embraced by everyone, but work hard to foster a relationship with those who do love them.
Alice Cooper is a rock star who has spent 40 years shocking us with his stage antics, gothic costumes, and hard rockin’ music. He also helps rock stars who are recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. He’s a born-again Christian. And he collects expensive Breitling watches.
What would a personal branding expert tell Alice Cooper? Don’t talk about the Christianity because it might scare off the hard rock fans. Don’t mention the Breitling watches because it might turn off the working-class fans. Avoid getting into the rehab work, since rock stars are supposed to love booze and drugs. Fortunately, Alice Cooper knows better, and doesn’t hide any of his quirky un-rock star qualities.
I don’t know. Somehow it feels to me that people who put a lot of effort into ”personal” branding are attempting to polish a turd.
Am I crazy?