We are ineffectual and inauthentic when “packaged.” Branding is essential, but it’s not always right. Be honest, accurate, and personal.
Why would personal branding be bad? After all, it’s a standard business practice to curate and share a specific version of oneself.
Sheryl Sandberg, author and Facebook COO, answered questions about personal branding in work. Quite surprising. “You don’t have a brand,” she said in May 2017 at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Sandberg pointed out that Pérrier has a reputation.
Sadly, many people aren’t that concerned about reputation. However, we are ineffectual and inauthentic when “packaged.” She said that having a voice is essential, but it’s not always right.
Her advice? Don’t box yourself. Just be honest, accurate, and personal.
Sandberg is a social media powerhouse. That is, social media has helped popularize the concept of personal branding. So, is this phenomenon over? As an insane and dehumanizing concept, Sandberg may be ahead of the curve.
Self-promotion isn’t the same thing as branding.
Building a personal brand is a decades-old notion. In 2020, Fast Company published “The Brand Called You,” claiming that not only CEOs or celebrities had to cultivate their image carefully. Not everyone.
However, with the growth of social media self-promotion and branding alliances, it’s become second nature for individuals to construct a personal brand.
Consider the impression many people portray online to friends, clients, coworkers, and even possible employers or sponsors.
Self-promotion is draining.
A burgeoning, intensely competitive “gig economy” has made internet profiles essential for acquiring jobs. The number of freelancers has increased by 43% in the UK since 2008. Similarly, Intuit predicts that 40% of U.S. employment will be self-employed by 2020.
Kazakhstan, Egypt, and even Cambodia now teach personal branding! Worldwide, career counselors advise individuals to come up with three to four terms that express their true selves, says Ilana Gershon. Gershon is an anthropology professor at Indiana University Bloomington.
Think about famous brand phrases like “Never intentionally undersold” or “The finest a man can get.”
Notably, humans aren’t robots. We are complex and flawed. Creating a “perfect” personal brand might put a lot of pressure on you to live up to it.
Packaging individuals always causes concern. Personal brands receive excessive criticism over the idea of packaging. The Onion ridiculed the trend in 2012 with the title “I Am A Brand,” Pathetic Man Says.
Extending his brand name, the narrative continues, describing a sad, miserable local web developer. The writer argues that no one cares about the message we attempt to convey.
We are respected for our work, not for our perfectionism at work.
Self-promotion is draining, Part II.
When building a personal brand. Ilana Gershon, the author of Down and Out in the New Economy, agrees. This may include regularly updating social media feeds with appropriately crafted information suitable for potential social or business contacts.
This, she claims, creates a new kind of self-policing. It drives you to be more strategic about your personal life as if you were always performing for a corporate audience.
However, the ease with which ambitious people may purchase fake Facebook likes, Instagram followers, Twitter retweets, and other social media success indicators adds to the pressure to beat competitors.
In interviews, British author Ella Woodward, who runs the healthy-eating blog Deliciously Ella, has discussed her social-media fatigue.
It’s easy when you work in a digital environment that never stops, to never stop, she told marketing magazine Campaign. You may be exposed, and the larger you are, the more criticized.
In this context, Sandberg’s stance on personal branding may be fatal.
Expressing “you” can become misguided.
Others think the notion is sound.
Jennifer Holloway, a personal branding expert from the Yorkshire Dales, feels the criticism is misguided. Making a personal branding plan isn’t false, she argues.
“What brand am I?” Expect no one to appreciate your brand without nuance and realism.
Holloway views the process as a whole. People build opinions about you based on what you say, do, and seem like.
For example, think about your most acceptable characteristics and quirks so you can create warm, authentic, and favorable internet profiles that answer inquiries like “What do you do?”
Her essential advice: Don’t second-guess “What sort of person does this company want?” Additionally, to avoid becoming overwhelmed, she suggests sticking to one social networking site properly rather than spreading oneself too widely.
Furthermore, it’s tempting to start sharing everything, but Ella Mills, author and CEO of Deliciously Ella warns against overexposure.
Molly Crist and Katerina Clauhs Dhand have found it. They share Sheryl Sandberg’s concern about personal branding while understanding they can’t avoid it. In a video posted on the website, the sisters eat pho, drink margaritas, and talk about growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania where their mother and grandmother taught cooking workshops since the early 1990s. Dhand feels it might be better, but it expresses who we are and is a bit ridiculous.
Personal branding can only go so far.
In conclusion, Crist agrees that telling our narrative and being ourselves to our consumers is crucial but feels going overboard isn’t worth it. For example, Onward Travel is on social media, but it isn’t our top focus, says Crist. Furthermore, we’ve discovered that managing them takes a lot of time and thinking, and neither of us is a big fan of sharing online.
Therefore, unlike other influencers or life coaches who rely on self-promotion, we sell a guided tour, not ourselves.