Debunking the “Personal Brand” Myth

The concept of developing a strong “personal brand” is one that’s gained a lot of traction in recent years. It’s become one of the key elements espoused by career advice experts who are quick to remind you that these days, having a good resume and solid work history sometimes just isn’t enough to get you hired. Instead, they say, you’ve got to use social media to establish yourself as an in-demand brand. As great as this sounds, it doesn’t always work.

Why Legions of Followers Won’t Guarantee You a Job

Answering that ever-present question – “Why?” – is actually pretty simple. It also gets to the heart of why a lot of people fall short in their efforts to land the job of their dreams, or any job for that matter. Put simply, the vast majority of people who aspire to build a brand don’t do enough. They base their efforts on the assumption that just having a lot of Facebook friends or Twitter followers equals personal brand visibility and valuable professional capital. In actual practice, this is the equivalent of having a stockpile of ammunition with no means of using it. What you end up with is just a long list of people’s names who aren’t engaged with you. Ultimately, this is worth very little.

Newsflash: Personal Branding Isn’t New

There are some who will tell you there’s no such thing as a personal brand. That it’s just a notion, created by the rise of social media and its assumed influence, that will be relegated to the “bad ideas” heap of history faster than a trendy dance move. The reality is, personal brands have been around far longer than social media has, or the internet for that matter. It’s simply another way of describing what makes you sellable as an employee of value, or as a thought leader in your industry.

The great news is, you don’t have to create a social media profile to build your personal brand. Here are some very practicable ways of doing that in real world terms.

  • Be authentic. To be authentic, you have to know who you are – what you’re good at, what you’re bad at, where your passions lie, and what you could care less about. This helps to define your value in the eyes of others.
  • Exist in the real world. Social media is where a lot of people go to “talk the talk” but more often than not in your career, you’ll be expected to “walk the walk.” If you find yourself relying too much on social media activity and are not doing enough to secure career opportunities by meeting new people, shaking hands and networking, it may be time to step away from the computer monitor.
  • Focus on quality over quantity. Amassing a list of passive social media followers is useless if you aren’t engaging with those people. It’s far better to foster real-world relationships with people than to be “favorited” by a bunch of perfect strangers who have no hiring power.

At Artisan Talent, we exist to help you develop as a professional. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you make direct connections with companies seeking your services.

Want to learn more about personal branding? Read this next:

Developing Your Brand ID.

How to develop your Personal Brand

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