Personal branding shouldn’t be a buzzword. In fact, it shouldn’t be something “new” or brought on by modern advances in social media. At its core, it’s a facet every single one of you should be aware of and have control over.
It’s not a “nice-to-know”, it’s a must have.
By definition, and depending on the source, personal branding is knowing yourself, your preferred industry, and whom you serve.
It’s what people think about you when you’re not in the room.
The first thought that pops into their mind when your name comes up.
It’s the alignment of your core values and day-to-day actions.
In the mid-2000’s (wow, is that seriously 10 years ago now?), I didn’t take much stock of personal brand. I was in my 20’s, a gigging musician, an improv actor, and was over-consuming life.
One of my first companies was predominantly working to market and brand nightclubs and bars. As part of the first wave of podcasting, vlogging, and “influence”, my first agency was born and I was addicted.
I quickly became known as the guy who did marketing and branding for the nightclub and bar industry, though ultimately, it wasn’t where I wanted to be. But the opportunity was too grand to pass. The short wins overshadowed the long plays.
It’s a vicious cycle to be in.
I didn’t necessarily want to be in this industry, let alone be branding myself as the party animal type. It wasn’t what my core values were.
But my day-to-day actions were different.
I didn’t want my life to be a blur of drunken nights and late mornings.
I had an internal struggle going on.
Your personal brand is so much more than the first page of Google with your name as a query. It’s the process, or journey your life should follow to ensure it’s always being perceived in a positive and memorable manner with your core values and day-to-day actions in alignment.
By thinking of your personal brand strategy as a life strategy, we’re going to be able to navigate through the rough waters of shiny bright new objects, tactical trends, and tech disruptions because we’re not just looking at the “brand of me” as a silo in our life, but as the core component of our omni-channel being.
It’s learning to build and leverage our personal brand – For Life.
On page 11 of the Brand Yourself Like a Creative Hustler ebook I ask this exact question…
Because if you don’t answer it you won’t have a map, or a plan, or even a destination.
Because when you DO answer it you’ll see EXACTLY where you’re going and how to get there.
Because even though we’re all One Great Oak…some of us are self-aware branches that blossom and some of us ain’t.
If you’re interested in seeing how you can build your personal brand — For Life — check out this personal branding checklist I created leads you through the 4 pillars of your personal brand.
Steven Picanza is an entrepreneur, brand architect, and business strategist with a core purpose centered around connecting people, products, and organizations with their core audience. He is the co-founder of the lifestyle brand for the creative entrepreneur, “The Creative Hustler“, as well as co-founder of the brand strategy firm Latin & Code with his wife Melissa.
Steven is also a partner with The Agency Guy, a business consultancy referring brands of all sizes to the right marketing firm based on capabilities, culture, and strategy. Steven, being passionate about all things creative, is also an Executive Board member of The San Diego Entertainment & Arts Guild, a non-profit organization he helped found in 2009.