Grow your personal brand

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I was surprised to see the blog reaching 500+ readers now. I assume you are subscribing through email (or RSS feeds) and some users following me on WordPress itself. Welcome!

There are many reasons why growing your personal brand is critical. This idea stemmed from speaking to a colleague about growing out of the “comfort zone”; which I call a “trough of redundancy”. Overnight success requires a significant pitch to grow, and is a slow gradual burn. Growing your brand isn’t for “influencers” on social media or getting the “coveted blue ticks” (those are just PR reach outs). A personal brand is about how others perceive you, and is a mix of individual values, stated goals, and your strengths/weaknesses. When you blog, you keep your learning out in the open and is a powerful motivator to keep learning.

A daily blog is considered as a signal for an “expert”, though its value (and utility) is less perceived by the people who can influence your career trajectories (e.g. hiring). Nevertheless, a daily blog is an excellent signal of your motivation, time management and consistency of effort. I have been doing this consistently for over 3+ years now, and it has enriched me beyond my dreams!

You need to be clear about stating your obvious values; I am aware of the strong “western cultural urge” to “leave a legacy” or be known for the “contributions”. The ones standing out are overstated for their impact (“shoulders of giants”). The realistic check is that human memory is exceedingly short on the “long-term-ism” time scale. What is relevant today may not be so once the sands shift. Therefore, strive for personal enrichment and create mechanisms to assist others in your value culture. Time tested values like being “good to fellow humans” have no parallel. Those are my personal values (and leadership values) and I try to emphasise them in my routine interactions.

The other way to grow your personal brand is through “content marketing” and “social media presence”. The trick is to remain detached from the metrics. Personal branding relies on “followers” (in the strict sense of the term), but those are superfluous metrics. Going back to the previous paragraph, “word-of-mouth publicity” is the best and safest bet. It takes considerable time (and effort) to grow your brand consistently to the same language tone and messaging across the platforms.

Networking is another pillar. However, while I endorse the idea, I prefer to grow networks by writing and following the work of specific individuals. Conference meet ups are “fleeting moments”; if you exchange many cards, how can you possibly remember the key takeaways? I filter my interactions and depend on a personal relationship. My relationship with some of my colleagues depends on mutual respect, where we bring value to each other.

Last but not the least is the importance of continued communication.

These ideas may sound counter to the prevalent ideas around going agog on social media, I prefer to make my personal brand through blogging, writing and reading extensively to grow my personal self. I can hopefully bring more value to the organisation and impact on the community. However, these values require a slow burn consistency without the obvious expectation of growing “viral”.

Good luck!

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