When it comes to building a personal brand, many people get confused about how to do it right.
There are two ways.
The first is to tell people how amazing and awesome you are.
Here’s an example.
"Did you know that I’m an amazing human being?"
“I’m so awesome...”
"I’m smart, good-looking, and successful.”
“Here’s a photo of me and my Ferrari.”
... you get the idea.
Now don’t get me wrong, you can get known for doing this.
BUT, there are a few problems with this:
1) If all you’re doing is boasting about how awesome you are, sure some people will think highly of you. But a lot will use 4-letter words when thinking of you.
(Most swear words in American English have four letters in them.)
2) There’s a profound difference between "being known" versus "being known for something useful to others."
This leads me to the second approach to building a personal brand, which is to...
... build a personal brand focused on adding value to other people.
When you add value to other people’s professional or personal lives, you get known FOR SOMETHING.
You’re not just "famous" for the sake of being famous. You’re “famous” for something.
When you build a value-added personal brand around something specific, anytime that topic comes up, your name often gets mentioned.
For example, I’ve tried to build a value-added personal brand around the case interview.
Many people who are reading this right now heard about me from somebody else and usually in the context of the case interview.
It’s a MUCH easier task to get known for something specific than to just be generally famous for no particular reason.
In addition, being known for a specific body of knowledge or skill set is far more useful from a career standpoint than being known for merely being “amazing.”
When a headhunter calls someone who’s familiar with your work and she asks your contact, "Do you know anybody who knows a lot about X?"... if you built a value-added personal brand around X, your name gets passed along.
If a high profile cross-functional working team is being put together and the team needs someone knowledgeable about X, your name gets mentioned.
If you ever want to build a business around X, you get referrals to prospective clients.
All of this happens when you build not just a personal brand, but a “value-added” personal brand.
I recently taught a class on How to Develop a Powerful Personal Brand. In the class, I shared a framework and approach for building your own value-added personal brand.
I will have a limited release of my Personal Brand program in the near future. If you missed the class and would be interested in learning from it, you can join the notification list for the release. Just complete the form below to be notified when the program is available.