Personal Brand? Where's the Value?

Filling up your valueAre you managing your Personal Brand? Is it worth more today than it was a year ago?

Your brand value (alternatively – credibility, or reputation) is the incremental compensation you should be receiving over and above candidates in the same professional arena. Sometimes the “value” is cash. Often it’s opportunity.

Your brand should be distinctive in the minds of your customers or employer. Something that can’t be readily duplicated and stuck on a shelf in the local mall. Rick has been writing about PRStore over at hypocritical. Rick asks some tough questions about this new franchise, questions that would be applicable to any new market entrant or alternative low-cost service provider. Reading comments from franchise holders and others spawned this question from me:

But if you are expanding and selling against your base of expertise, why is it necessary to “buy” credibility through a franchise? Is this simply a sign of inadequate personal branding?

Don’t get me wrong, we all “buy” credibility. Enhance our personal brand through development.

  • We tough it out through undergrad. We develop a base of understanding, and learn how to learn.
  • We do it again in grad studies, or in obtaining advanced credentials. We develop a base of expertise.
  • We work for employers with high standards, making (hopefully) unreasonable demands on our skills that force us to grow.
  • We take tough assignments, and sometime fail, but hopefully more often succeed.
  • We engage in tough conversations, inside and outside our organizations. We learn to listen, and equally, to articulate and influence.

That’s quite an investment in our personal brand, from my perspective. Unlike stocks, we each carry with us our implied guarantee that

“past results ARE IN FACT a strong indication of future performance”.

I’ve done it before. I will do it again. I can make [insert deliverable or task] happen for you.

When you love what you do, and feel a sense of purpose and commitment to your work, it resonates. Your peers feel it. Your clients see it in your work. Your passion increases the volume of your message. When your brand echoes with your passions, the value is a consequence.

But what has all this effort added up to for you? Value can turn in several directions, including compensation and opportunity noted above. It can also mean

  • Security in your present role, or in the knowledge that you can re-apply your expertise in a new setting if things get dicey.
  • Influence with your peers, both inside and outside your respective organization.
  • Flexibility to manage your work/life commitments in a way that is best suited to your unique situation.

When you’re feeling a little burned out, take a breather and evaluate your brand value.

  • Have you been hitting the bullets above, working hard to be distinctive in your space?
  • Are opportunities coming your way? Do you bring new ideas to those you work with?
  • If you were to visit salary.com, are you recieving a premium to the market for your title and responsibilities?
  • If you were to walk out the door today, can you take your skillset and build a business around it?

Before you plunk down your payment on a new franchise and hit the eject button, consider the investments you’ve already made in your personal brand. A bit more work in your chair today could yield much greater rewards in the not so distant future.

This entry was posted in Branding, Entrepreneur, Purpose, Value. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Personal Brand? Where's the Value?

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  7. Dan Schawbel says:

    See I agree with most of this, but I think Personal Branding is all about perception.

    I define it as “an individuals total perceived value, relative to competitors, as viewed by their audience.”

    I say this because when your perceived value increases, so does your compensation.

  8. Toby Lucich says:

    Curious.

    How does perception vary from credibility or reputation?

  9. Dan Schawbel says:

    People perceive you according to credibility and reputation, from word-of-mouth or from content that was previously written by you or others.

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