I believe in building and cultivating a personal brand. By brand I mean the professional image or personality that you want to project. You build your personal brand, first and foremost, by building trust.
Leadership consultant Greg Hartle takes a slightly different tack, and I really like what he has to say. In Personal Brand: It’s Not All About You, Hartle writes that people go wrong by concentrating on building their personal brands rather than on becoming better professionals. His remedy? Greater self awareness, less talking, and more doing.
For me Hartle’s message evokes the motto of my home state: Esse quam videri (to be rather than to seem). The key to building a personal brand is to become the person you want to be known as.
From time to time we see a “most Influential” list like this one from MindTouch. In essence it ranks the personal brands of the people in our profession. Look at the people at or near the top of the list. Yes, these people talk a lot about technical communication. But more than that, they’re constantly doing: trying new methodologies, sharing their knowledge, adding value to our community and our profession.
What do you think? Is a personal brand important to you? If so, what do you do to build and cultivate yours?
Originally published on the SDI blog, 12 January 2012