While personal branding has grown to become a common phenomenal particularly in the corporate world, it has also attracted a cluster of myths.
Below is a run-down of twenty such myths and why they are not necessarily true.
1. I don’t have a personal brand
Personal branding is not something that is only suited for Hollywood celebrities and Wall Street Moguls. In reality, every human has an identity by virtue of their existence.
Indeed, personal branding has more to do with an individual’s thought-pattern, emotions and ambitions instead of just looks and perceptions.
2. Working on company’s brand is more important than my personal brand
Most business owners make the mistake of thinking that their personal brand does not matter as much as their company’s brand.
However, as it turns out, businesses that thrive on positive personal branding on the part of the founder and employees tend to attract more employees, customers and investors than ones that don’t.
3. Personal branding is for job-seekers and sales people
While it’s true that personal branding is pivotal to the success of jobseekers and salespeople, everyone of us can benefit from good branding.
The world is changing at a fast-pace and career landscapes are shifting. As no one knows what the future holds, investing in a good brand is more or less like saving for a rainy day.
4. Personal branding is only suitable for extroverts, introverts don’t need it
The strength of a personal brand is not necessarily measured by the number of people one interacts with on a day-to-day basis.
It is important to remember that personal branding is also not just about image or popularity. It is rather about self-awareness and ability to build credibility, clarity and consistency.
5. Personal branding involves inventing an identity from scratch
On the contrary, effective branding emanates from authenticity. One does not have to manufacture or fake an image to appeal to the needs of the outside world.
Therefore, personal identity is more about finding out who you truly are and authentically communicating that.
6. Personal branding is only a short-term strategy
Some people approach personal branding with the perception that it is a short-cut strategy or something to play around with for some few weeks.
In reality, though, personal branding should be seen as a long-term strategy. It therefore should be approached with a future-focused mindset.
7. People who invest in personal branding are superfluous
No matter how good you are at what you do, nobody will take you seriously if your personal brand speaks otherwise of you.
In other words, personal branding is not a temporary mask to be worn when necessary. It is all about being true to oneself.
8. Personal image is an overhyped, new phenomenon
It is true that great emphasis is being placed on personal branding now more than ever.
However, this is a tradition that has been there for decades if not centuries. Think of people like Winston Churchill and Napoleon Bonaparte.
9. What you’re known for among your colleagues and close family members is your personal brand
Personal image goes beyond one’s immediate reputation. It delves deeper into genuine feelings, beliefs and generally what feel about an individual even in their absence.
10. Personal brand is all about you
A positive brand is not about being a braggart or self-centered individual. If anything, when you invest in a good brand, people around you also benefit.
Research shows that 91 percent of employees who work for leaders with good personal brands enjoy work more than those working for unbranded or poorly branded entrepreneurs.
11. Personal branding is a good thing but not really necessary
In a world where information about anyone can be obtained by a single click of the mouse button, one can only neglect personal branding at their own peril.
12. Image management is all that matters in building personal brand
Good dressing style, snappy email signature and fantastic elevator pitch do not make a brand. While image management focuses more on the outside person, personal branding places more emphasis on the inside person.
13. Personal branding is a frustrating and exhausting undertaking
If done right, personal branding can turn out to be a fun-filled and invigorating undertaking. In its entirety, the entire process boils down to spending a few minutes every day to work on a brand.
14. Web presence has nothing to do with my personal branding
Nothing could be further from the truth. The manner in which you build your own platforms and how you package your posts matters a lot. For instance, research has shown that those who take online personal branding seriously are likely to outsell 78 percent of their peers.
15. You cannot fix a personal brand that’s already broken
No matter how bad one’s personal brand is, there is always something that can be done to resuscitate it. This may involve consulting a professional – not to bury the truth but to reclaim a person’s authentic identify.
16. Personal branding is only for people who like tooting their own horns
While overdoing personal branding may qualify as self-promotion and bragging, the secret to doing it right lies with striking a balance. This involves devising a balance between adding value and communicating the same.
17. Personal branding is a trend that’s passing
Personal branding is not another passing cloud. As it is commonly implied your brand resides in the hearts and minds of people who surround you. It is therefore less of a buzz word and more day-to-day reality.
18.Investing in personal branding means cultivating a perfect, adorable identity
Divergently, personal branding is about progress and not perfection or likeability. It is also about making baby-steps as one combines inspiration with perspiration.
19. Adopting a specific personal brands means you will never have the option of changing it
It is quite possible to change a personal brand. A good example of a person who successfully did this is Alfred Nobel.
Widely known for the “Nobel Peace Prizes”, Mr. Nobel is the same person who invented dynamites. Owing to the bad reputation of dynamites at war, the press nicknamed him the ‘merchant of death’. Needing to reclaim his personal brand, he decided to establish the Nobel Prize, which recognizes those who benefit humankind.
Long story short, that strategy worked, and the pacifist is now best known for the prize rather than dynamites. So indeed it is possible to change one’s brand.
20. My customers love me the way I am
With cut-throat competition characterizing the modern-day business environment, it is easy to lose customers to a better branded entrepreneur.
So even if one has customers who are extremely loyal, it is still important to work on personal branding. That can go a long way in complementing organizational brand, which can only mean one thing – more loyalty.
There are myths on just about anything in the world. What one really needs to know is that just like any other strategy, personal branding has its highs and lows.
In order for one to make the best of it, it is important to be patient, frank and authentic. Eventually, one can fast track their career by riding in the tail-wind of a thriving brand.