Are You Branding? Or Broadcasting?

As more of us realize the importance of personal branding, a trend is developing: we are confusing “branding” with blatant self-promotion–or “broadcasting”.

Granted, I’m making the assumption that through our personal branding we want to show we are collaborative, friendly, giving and… well, likable. Of course there are no absolutes. Some may be interested in showing they can be great salespeople, the best MLMer or maybe they are capable of growing their Klout score and their number of friends/followers quickly.

This advice is not for them.

How do you tell if you’re branding or broadcasting? Answer these true or false questions:

  1. I talk about the work of others as much or more as I do mine | True or False?
  2. I invite others to get to know me, without falling into the TMI trap | True or False?
  3. I publicly congratulate others for accolades received and milestones achieved | True or False?
  4. When I post a blog, I publicize the link less than 6 times that same day | True or False?
  5. I routinely comment on blogs written by friends and followers | True or False?
  6. I almost always respond to comments to my blogs–and thank others for their retweets, likes, and shares | True or False?
  7. I often introduce new contacts to those within my personal network | True or False?
  8. I frequently extend digital relationships into phone calls or face-to-face conversations | True or False?
  9. I refuse to use auto-responders; I prefer my communication to be personal | True or False
  10. I often assist or mentor those within my sphere of influence | True or False?

How did you do?

How many of the 10 questions were answered with a sincere “True” answer?

  • If you answered “True” to 8 or more: congratulations, you are consistently—and effectively—branding!
  • If you answered True to 6 – 7 of the questions: you are branding more than broadcasting (but there is room for improvement!).
  • If you answered just 3 – 5 of the questions with “True” you are in danger of being perceived as an insincere member of #teamfollowback… and must engage far more to be considered an effective personal brand.
  • 2 or less True answers–well, like I said earlier… this advice isn’t for you.

Take a look at your branding efforts. Are you mostly self-promoting—broadcasting to anyone who will listen—or are you developing a sincere, engaging personal brand?


Mark Babbitt, the CEO and Founder of YouTern, is a serial entrepreneur and mentor and a passionate supporter of Gen Y talent. Mark contributes to, Glassdoor and Business Insider. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes and Under30CEO regarding internships, higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce and career development. Recently, Mark was honored to be named to GenJuice’s list of “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors”. You can contact Mark via email or on Twitter:@YouTernMark.

Related posts:

  1. Let Others Do the Talking: Branding Through Testimonials
  2. Personal Branding with Purpose: What’s Your Intention?
  3. Guest Post on LinkedIn and Student Branding from

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  • Dan Schawbel

    Dan Schawbel, the founder of the Student Branding Blog, is a world renowned personal branding expert, the international bestselling author of Me 2.0, as well as the publisher of the Personal Branding Blog.

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    Chelsea Rice is the editor-in-chief of the Student Branding Blog. She began her work for just before graduating from Boston University, where she studied journalism and minored in international relations.

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