You don't need a personal brand.
Yes, I did just write that. Me, who among other talents and skills, include personal branding expert in their portfolio.
And I'm serious.
You don't need one.
For one simple reason.
You already have one. You've been contributing to it for years.
Your work experience.
What people are saying about you after you leave the room.
Your sense of style.
Your sense of humor.
The places you've lived.
Where you went to school.
The skills you've honed.
Your marital status.
The places you've traveled to.
Every move you've made, every nuance, has contributed to your personal brand.
So you don't need a personal brand. You already have one.
What you need is to assess how strong, healthy and vibrant it is.
What you need is to give yours some attention.
The online world requires you to.
Just ten short years ago, if you went to an event and said something you wished you hadn't you didn't need to worry that your remark might be heard across the globe.
No. You would watch those words slip off your tongue, recoil at the fact you could not pull them back in and hope not too many people were in earshot.
You might be embarrassed. You might need to apologize. You knew you had made an impression on at least one person as to how they saw you as brand and it wasn't the one you wanted to make.
Although you didn't call it a brand at the time.
You called it your reputation.
In any case you knew it would pass. You knew it would be forgotten.
Because then there was no digital impression that could never be deleted and might come back to haunt you years down the road.
There was no Instagram to capture the look on your face. No Twitter post to be retweeted a thousand times. Or Facebook to rally the haters.
All the stuff that makes us think we need a personal brand when what we really need is to learn some new tools and to spend some time with the one we already have.
A good place to start is here.
Joanne Tombrakos is a Storyteller and Consultant specializing in personal branding, social media and content marketing. A Digital Demystifier, she is also the creator of YOUR DIGITAL YOU, a self-study course in online personal branding and The Branding Salon as well as an author and adjunct professor of Digital Marketing at NYU. More on Joanne can be found at joannetombrakos.com