Personal Branding, What’s In It For You?

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[My response to a great post by Tom Martin: Can a 10 Year Old Have a Personal Brand?]“NOT having a personal brand is like standing in a stadium full of people and hoping work will find you.”
There is a difference between a personal “brand” and being a kickass 10 year-old pitcher. What your son has is budding reputation, not a brand. The brand comes in when he/you/the coach/the company starts putting a phrase, ID or “brand” around your son.In my case, building a personal brand inside Dell was vital to my survival. In a company with over 80k workers and lots of really smart people how would I get my name on the radar of the executives that might actually give me a shot at something bigger than I was already working on?

This was never more apparent then during a global online “innovation” contest. When I stepped up, after about 30 or so entrants, one of the insiders hooted, “Jay-Maaac!” My nick name had become a brand. And at that moment I stuck out from the crowd as someone to be watched.

Turns out my idea was chosen as one of 7 finalists out of 71 entries. In fact, I had 2 ideas chosen. Is that a rockstar? Well, the VP who sponsored the contest was let go within a few months of the first round and the winner was never crowned. Was it a personal brand? Yep, right there in the crowd, a person basically “sponsored” my pitch. And since this person had been at Dell for more than 7 years, his calling me out was a huge boost for my confidence.

I can think of some branding to apply to your son, but for now I say he should perfect his craft and keep working hard. The “brand” will be established in the process of becoming an ever better player and more importantly a good person.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)
permalink: http://uber.la/2009/07/personal-branding/

Note: I really want to explore the elements of personal branding in a future post. But for now, go Google or Bing yourself and see what your “internet brand” says about you. If it’s not what you want it to say, then you’d better get to work. Many people and events can affect your personal brand, but taking control of your brand on Google or Bing is a matter of effort and strategic work. I can tell you more about that in a bit as well.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. So, how do you take it to that next level – to convert a personal reputation into a personal brand?

    Aside from kickass work ethic and a dogged persistence in quality, how can I make sure I stick out in the smaller, but still crowded sea of an IT department with 45+ employees, how do I establish myself as a brand? I've been toiling away – mostly a labor of love – for more than a decade and still I feel as though many of my core philosophies, strengths, & values are not well known or appreciated by most.

  2. So, how do you take it to that next level – to convert a personal reputation into a personal brand?

    Aside from kickass work ethic and a dogged persistence in quality, how can I make sure I stick out in the smaller, but still crowded sea of an IT department with 45+ employees, how do I establish myself as a brand? I've been toiling away – mostly a labor of love – for more than a decade and still I feel as though many of my core philosophies, strengths, & values are not well known or appreciated by most.

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