In personal branding I do not work for persons. Something else is there.
I do personal branding for a living. I “brand” people and their businesses. I work for business and not for showbiz, as I believe the need for branding is a vital – and a more honest need after all – in the entrepreneurial world where the capacity of branding to articulate identities can be effectively put to work.
People who fall under these 4 categories usually contact me:
- corporate people tired of being employed with a more or less clear idea of what they would like to do next, in search for career advice and a sort of fulcrum;
- young entrepreneurs with a freelancer profile and an already established little business in search for a clearer positioning and a better defined role of themselves in their field;
- business professionals in lifestyle entrepreneurships – from coaches, psychologists and actors to medical doctors and technology geeks;
- CEOs of their own established entrepreneurial business with a clear structure in business but maybe with a poor or inexistent public profile as well as CEOs that need to reconnect the entire organization to a core ideology and vertebrate employer branding processes and …themselves along the way.
Irrespective of how different they are in life and professional stages, there is something that links all the up-mentioned profiles: what springs to their minds when they approach the need for branding is an irrepressible penchant towards being present, visible around the “me”, the “self”, the “ego” that others “need” to see, to perceive to monetize in a way or another. Nothing catastrophically wrong so far. The issue starts when we only remain to the “me” stage.
What is the “me” stage?
It is true that personal branding is about promoting a person, putting a human identity in some sort of social light as it is about ultimately taking sane pride in what you are and what you do. What is key instead is that stakeholders can effectively see value in that light. What is put forth, what is playing under the spotlight? Personal branding cannot substantiate anything unless… substance is on stage and a “supportive” person behind a valuable and relevant promise. Did I say “supportive”, “in the backstage”, in the “support staff” of their valuable promise in business or else? Oops! So it is not about being ubiquitous as a person? It is not about “me”?
There is a quite incipient – I dare to say – talking these days about humility in business. What seems an almost inappropriate word for the business world, might have gained the biggest of relevance lately. Humility and personal branding are not irreconcilable at all in business, in the same way that self centered posturing and a self absorbed personality might not make a valuable personal brand.
Briefly put, personal branding is not a gift made to the ego and certainly not a selfie. In the process of personal branding managers, entrepreneurs and freelancers are nothing but the humble servants of their ideas, deeds, projects, businesses, own contribution to the world ultimately. They are not the “servants of self”, they speak in the name of their projects and their major role is that of an endorser.
In personal branding I work for ideas and beautiful projects seen through the eyes and personality of their beholders but crafted and refined through the objective lenses of the outside consultant. A person-to-person job, it’s true, but what comes out it in the end must be about a long lasting new little-piece-of-value-that-someone-really-needs that is brought to the world.