The subject of Personal Branding draws its share of critics.
I have heard claims that personal branding is all self-promotion and arrogance and that it holds little substance.
While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I do think these positions are missing the mark on what it means to develop and market your personal brand. Developing your personal brand includes: determining your strengths and weaknesses, and using these tools to best move our lives, our careers or those around us forward. While it does involve marketing your strengths, skills and accomplishments, it should never be unabashed self-promotion.
My own personal branding reminder
Last week, I shared that I was hired on as a full-time addition to the PR staff at an agency in Wisconsin. I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity.
To honor the new gig, my family celebrated with a nice dinner, and then my sister took me out on the town. I was relieved to have made a decision and to mark this step forward in my career.
But with all this, I am reminded of an important piece of personal branding advice: Yes, people want to hear about the great things in your life, but only to a point.
Sure, they will tell you congratulations- and maybe even buy you a drink. They may ask about what exactly you do or how you like it, but chances are they would prefer an abbreviated version of the answer.
When good things happen to you, do share them with the people around you? I did.
Unless you want to be branded as arrogant or annoying, keep the celebrating and self-promotion to a quiet roar. No need to shout it from the rooftops. If you do good work, others will recognize your accomplishments.
Remember: The impression you give to others IS your personal brand. Be proud of your accomplishments and keep nurturing your strengths that make your personal brand special. Be grateful for your opportunities. Share your successes with others and let them congratulate you. But it should never be all about you.
Be curious about others’ lives. Ask them engaging questions. Be compassionate and caring. And, always keep in mind how your personal strengths can positively impact the others.
Cassie is a May 2009 University of Wisconsin-Madison Ag Journalism graduate. She recently unfolded her passion for public relations during her short stint as a PR consultant for a Madison, Wis. area non-profit and is looking to dive into the field professionally. Find Cassie on Twitter, BrazenCareerist, and LinkedIn.