There’s been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about how important it is that you build your personal brand. This is an idea that I first heard about from Gary V. and Chris Brogan and its also something that I’m very much in agreement with. Its vital. (if you haven’t checked out Chris’ posts on this hit it here)
And when I think about the term “Personal Brand,” I think “didn’t we used to have a name for that?” I think we called it your Reputation. Back in the day, your reputation was essentially what other people had to say about you, what kind of a person they thought you were. These things were mostly grounded in reality but were always coming through someone else’s filter.
Reputation was what politicians used to run on. It helped you get a job, it helped your business. And I was taught that having a good reputation was one of the things that mattered most in life. How has having a good rep hurt anyone? It is the key to opening countless doors in business and beyond.
But let’s get back to Personal Brand. How is it different from what we would consider our reputation? My take is that Personal Brand is Reputation for the Web 2.0 crowd. Its digital. Its public. Its sharable.
Take your blog content, your LinkedIn Profile, your Tweets, your Facebook profile (embarrasing pics and all), the many other digital interactions you have on a day to day basis, add that to your Reputation – and you’re looking at your personal brand. The bad news? If you suck, everyone will know it. The good news is that if you’re kick-ass, everyone will know that too.
And with the advent of so many online communities, there have never been so many opportunities to go out there, interact, and build your brand. Be an expert, share information, help others, be nice, BE USEFUL – and you’re on your way to rebuilding your Personal Brand Equity. Own it.
Seth Godin had a great post on Personal Branding in the age of Google. A snippit
A friend advertised on Craigslist for a housekeeper.
Three interesting resumes came to the top. She googled each person’s name.
The first search turned up a MySpace page. There was a picture of the applicant, drinking beer from a funnel. Under hobbies, the first entry was, “binge drinking.” Read full post
With all of that being said, its also fundamental to know that this information about you is out there. What are people saying about YOU? And how will you use digital technology to build upon your Reputation to craft own brand?
What are your thoughts on Rep. vs. Brand? Any difference?