What is a personal brand? And why should I care?

Reading time: 2 minutes

Does the term “personal brand” leave you scratching your head?

If so, don’t feel like you’re alone – it looks like there are plenty more folks looking for the same results you are (via Google)…

Google Search - What Is A Personal Brand

… and …

Google Search - Personal Branding

The best way to think about personal branding is from a quote by Jeff Bezos:

Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.

(The funny thing about that quote is that I can’t find it’s origin anywhere. Lots of people have quoted it – like I’m doing here – but there is no original source linked. At least, none that I can find.)

This quote gets a little mixed up with “reputation” but I think we can look at the two terms like this:

  • Branding: Focused on the future; the what we’re trying to achieve (and the why, how, where, and when)
  • Reputation: Focused more on the past; how we achieved “it” (and the why, what, where, and when)

It’s like a set of instructions you’ve built for yourself – branding is the plan, and reputation is the scorecard.

Looking back at Jeff Bezos’ quote, we can see how this fits a bit better.

Should you care about a / your personal brand?

I would think so. If care what your peers think of you and what you want them to say about you, it makes sense to take control of and build your brand.

Here’s an example – If you are planning to join a group that has a specific set of beliefs and morals, wouldn’t it make sense that your reputation and brand fits with these same thoughts and ideas?

And doesn’t it make sense that when this group reviews your past, it all lines up?

Branding isn’t limited to big companies and marketing people.

Everyone should be thinking about how their reputation and brand is viewed, especially as sites like Twitter and Facebook allow us all to become creators, publishers and distributors of content.

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