You are your most important asset. In a sense, you are your only asset no one can take away from you. Each of us is unique with knowledge, aptitudes, looks and experiences that are powerful assets. Anything you have ever done or thought about can be an asset. We all have assets and opportunities, but they are worthless unless we recognize them and take action.
You are what you make of yourself. Personal branding is about identifying the best version of you and communicating that in person and online every day.
What do you want your brand to stand for?
Your ability to maximize the asset that is you is the single most important ingredient in your success. But I am also talking about becoming who you were meant to be, which means that success includes becoming who you truly are. The trick to effective self-branding is to devise a strategy that works in achieving professional and life goals but also is true to you—that brings more of you into the equation.
With branding, you learn how to look at yourself as a product in a competitive framework. Branding is the process of differentiating that product—you—from the competition and taking action steps to get where you want to go.
Any way you slice it, brands win over products hands down. A branded item is viewed as better than its generic counterpart. Brands are perceived as higher in quality. They are in demand. They sell for a premium price.
Generic products compete only on price, by offering a very low price. (And if you’re reading this book, I doubt that you want to compete that way.)
Personal branding can be subtle or grating. modern or old-fashioned, engaging or self-centered, but if you don’t participate you will be left behind in today’s job market. Career success, like branding, is a game of perceptions. If people think you would be a talented new hire, you will get the job offer. If people think you won’t be a good fit, you won’t have the opportunity to show them otherwise until you change their thinking. Personal branding can help you do that.