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Importance of Building an Authentic Personal Brand

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  • 0:03 Branding
  • 1:20 Importance of a Personal Brand
  • 2:28 Building a Personal Brand
  • 4:12 Inclusions in Your…
  • 5:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

A personal brand will help you grow in your career. But, how important is it, and what should it include? In this lesson, we examine the importance of building an authentic personal brand.

Branding

Kamal is looking for his first job. His buddy Jesus is looking for a promotion. Both want to have the best chance for succeeding, and they've heard that building a personal brand will help. However, they aren't sure exactly what that means.

Branding is a marketing term that describes the process of distinguishing a company from the competition. This can involve the company's logo, advertising, message, and other elements. The key is to make sure that people know their company's brand, or what makes them unique.

Companies aren't the only ones who use branding. Many workers these days are focused on building a personal brand, which is what distinguishes them from others. It is a cohesive message about a person's values, contributions, and vision, especially when it comes to professional life.

Another way to think about personal branding is that it is how people perceive you. Thanks to the Internet and social media, everyone has a brand whether they've intentionally created it or not. Kamal's posts about his family and photos from his fraternity's latest party are all out there, impacting his personal brand.

So why is a personal brand important? And how can Kamal and Jesus build personal brands that reflect who they really are? To answer these questions, let's take a closer look.

Importance of a Personal Brand

Both Kamal and Jesus already have a personal brand online. But is that brand hurting or helping them?

Relationships are at the heart of business. Individuals represent the company they work for, and some companies are wary of hiring or promoting individuals that might be a detriment to their brand. If Kamal is looking for a job at a very conservative company that promotes traditional values, photos of him going wild at a frat party may be problematic. Likewise, if Jesus posts a lot of controversial political opinions, his company might not want to promote him to a position of great visibility as his opinions might be taken for his company's.

In an ideal situation, Kamal's and Jesus' personal brands will position them as ideal employees, offer them a platform for future growth, and allow them to control the way people perceive them. For example, Kamal can tailor his personal brand to reflect what a hard worker and creative thinker he is. Jesus can focus his brand around the invaluable contributions he's made at the company where he works. In both cases, their personal brands make them more attractive to companies, which increases their chances of being hired and promoted.

Building a Personal Brand

Kamal thinks building a brand seems pretty easy; he'll delete any posts or pictures that contradict the views of the company for which he's applying. For good measure, he'll throw in some posts that promote the values of the company's owners.

But Jesus is a little more skeptical. He doesn't want to present himself as something he's not. Is there a way to build a successful personal brand without being phony? Is it really all about just presenting what you think people want to hear from you?

Authenticity

Authenticity is key to building a personal brand. It's important to communicate who you truly are, otherwise your brand will seem fake and disallow you good opportunities.

Let's go back to Jesus for a moment. He's very politically active and has strong political views. Right now, his political views might be getting in the way of his promotion, but he doesn't want to change those views to get it. If he writes things he doesn't believe, he might get a promotion but is likely to be unhappy - both with his personal brand and in a company that has different values than him.

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