Personal Branding

personal brand

The Pros and Cons of personal branding.

Few would argue that personal branding can help position you favorably within your industry. However, it’s wise to weigh up the pros and cons of branding your name, so you understand exactly how to leverage your brand and use the Internet to connect and communicate with the right people. A powerful personal brand is an excellent tool for attracting opportunities that could catapult you to professional success.

Successful personal branding is a result of positive self-packaging. In a nutshell, you are your brand. Your name, behavior, and knowledge are just a few of the elements that help to distinguish you from the rest of the pack and make you unique. When you brand your name the right way, you can influence the way in which people perceive you.

The Pros of Personal Branding

One major benefit of personal branding is that you can create a competitive edge by establishing a sense of individuality. By separating yourself from everyone else, you make it easier for your target market to differentiate you from your competitors. You can also use your personal brand as a guide to direct your behavior and communications. It gives you focus and allows you to demonstrate both consistency and authenticity.

A personal brand gives you the opportunity to define who you are in terms of your opinions, beliefs, and values. The way you express yourself gives people a good understanding of your moral principles, which creates an indelible impression. As a result, you can influence the perceptions others have about you and ultimately enhance your career potential.

You have much greater control over a personal brand than you have over a corporate brand. For instance, the freedom to communicate as you wish, without answering to board members, is a great advantage. In addition, no one will misrepresent you, you have the type of flexibility big brands lack, you can change your behaviors quickly, you are not affected by the mistakes of others, and you have a greater awareness of yourself and what you represent.

You have the freedom to set your own objectives and take risks as you see fit. You can also manage expectations with a fair amount of ease and establish yourself as an authority, allowing you to demand higher fees. Ultimately, you can create top of mind awareness, making your name the first one people think of when they have a problem you can solve.

The Cons of Personal Branding

The downside to personal branding is that you have to live up to the expectations you create. Being authentic to the persona you develop is essential if you want people to recognize you as the solution to their problem. You have to build up credibility by being consistent and true to your brand. You should aim to create an identity you are comfortable with, or more specifically, one that does not exceed your capabilities.

Everything you do from here on out will be etched on your record permanently. For this reason alone, you need to make certain your behaviors reflect who you are, what you stand for, and what you do. People will associate your name with your business forever, so be sensible about the personal content you publish online. Keep in mind that your reputation comes with plenty of baggage, so you need to manage your personal brand effectively and with the utmost care. However, you should be weary of losing your personality to your brand.

Another disadvantage is that you risk spreading yourself too thinly. Maintaining focus is often difficult once you become highly sought after in your industry. You may also worry about disappointing people. While these are valid concerns, you should be cautious about juggling too many things at the same time, or you could reduce yourself to a mere commodity. Not only should you add value to your brand, but your target audience should perceive you as being valuable.

Last, but not least, the revenue generated by the personal branding of one individual is usually insignificant to that of a corporate brand. As a result, you need to look at where you are and where to want to be, and how branding can cross the chasm between the two. Consider both the pros and cons before you decide whether to develop a personal or corporate brand.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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