Personal Branding seems to have a lot of opponents, that is, people who don’t get the concept in its entirety. Many folks I’ve spoken with think Personal Branding is all about self-promotion. It isn’t. Personal Branding is about branding yourself like a good company or product would be marketed. Make the product good as hell. Have something to offer the consumer and always improve it. When Personal Branding is explained like that, I usually get nods in agreement.
How do you create the product? How do you self-develop and market what you can you contribute? Everyone has a unique set of talents. Yes–I know, you’ve already heard that one. People talk about talents, but what do they really mean?
When I talk about your unique talents, I am talking about those which are created when your habits, natural abilities, and experience converge into focus. My younger brother, Jacob Salamon, is a very talented designer. His main habit is that he’s anal retentive. When we lived together he despised the fact that I didn’t squeeze the toothpaste to the top of the bottle. If I took the hand towel off the rack and didn’t put it back….well, you get the picture. Jacob has a natural ability of having everything in his life fit his picture of design. He knows how he wants his world to look which is why he is a designer. What makes him talented is the fact that he uses his design skills every single day. He has created countless logos, brochures, and websites, including my own.
You can only market your talents once you have a product or something to contribute. Sam Decker, a fantastic marketer, and CMO of Bazaarvoice, is a perfect example. He markets himself as “The World’s Cheapest Marketer”. One of his main talents is resourcefulness. He can make people talk without having to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars. The point is that he first has to prove himself as a successful marketer, before he can claim to be a successful “cheap marketer”.
As an exercise for yourself, try figure out your talents. What are your habits & natural abilities? How have you used them to be successful now and in the past? Now how can you market them under one package? In short, focus on two things: Self-Development and Mass Communication.