Personal Branding for the Business Professional, by Chris Brogan. - http://www.chrisbrogan.com
You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same
decaying organic matter as everything else. - Tyler Durden, Fight Club.
Gary Vaynerchuk could tell you that his personal brand is worth millions, but heʼs
modest. My friend and PodCamp co-founder, Christopher S. Penn, often refers to
branding by ZeFrankʼs definition: “an emotional aftertaste.” I have some thoughts on
how one might develop a strong personal brand online, and what you might do with one,
once you build it.
Why Build a Personal Brand?
You might already know the answer to this question. There are lots of answers, actually,
depending on you, your needs, the way the world has shaped you. Letʼs look at just one
The easiest answer is that you might want to be memorable, and you might want to
transfer your real world reputation into the online world. A strong personal brand is a mix
of reputation, trust, attention, and execution. You might want to build a brand around
being helpful (what I hope my brand means to you), or being a creative thinker (Kathy
Sierra, for instance) or being a dealmaker (Donald Trump), or being a showman (David
Lee Roth), or whatever matters most to you, and also what you are capable of
A personal brand gives you the ability to stand out in a sea of similar products. In
essence, youʼre marketing yourself as something different than the rest of the pack. Do
you need this? I donʼt know. Do you like to be mixed in with the pack?
Hints About Brand In General
Whatʼs the difference between Coke and Pepsi? Thereʼs a taste difference, for sure, but
what does the brand signify? Tricky, eh? So whatʼs the difference between TechCrunch
and Mashable to you? I would argue that Michael Arrington is more heavily tied into the
Silicon Valley insiders scene than Pete Cashmore