Personal Branding: What Is It & Why It Matters

I’ve been poking around for a good definition of what Personal Branding is.  And the following definition for branding, as a whole, from the book Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself seems to hit it right on the read:

A brand is an emotional response to the image or name of a particular company, product or person.

In the case of a personal brand, it's the emotional response that people have towards a particular person.   Just by looking at characters in TV shows, we all have an emotional response to them:

  • Cristina Yang of Grey's Anatomy as a driven heart surgeon, even when she was an intern.
  • Yoda of the Star Wars franchise basically as the wise elder

These are of course are just a brief list of many characters that one can draw upon as reference points as personal brands.  In school - regardless of whether it was middle school, high school or college - we remember which one of our classmates where jocks, nerds, goodie two-shoes, etc. and this is the power of personal branding.

Personal branding breaks down to the follow:

  • Your Personality
  • Your Interests
  • Your Habits
  • Your Hobbies
  • Your Job
  • Your Education
  • And so on

I can sit here listing everything that factors into your personal brand; but I would only be able to come up with only so many items to list.

So why is this important then?  Because in today's day and age, one's personal brand isn't limited to just where they live.  With the heavy usage of social media, or even just search engines, it's easier to find information about a person.

I recently Googled a classmate's name and I was able to find an archived awards day article published in 1999 from the Ely Echo.  So knowing how to work and manage your personal brand is an important skill to have.