There’s a lot of buzz these days about “personal brands.” To me, a personal brand is essentially a distilled version of a company brand. It’s a brand that focuses on one thing: you.

A Personal Brand vs. a Company Brand

“Brand” is one of the most misunderstood terms out there. Some people think it’s a logo. Some people think it’s the name of the business. Others think it’s your image.

I say it’s all of them. A brand is essentially your promise to the world and, subsequently, whether the world buys that promise.

There’s a lot of buzz these days about “personal brands.” To me, a personal brand is essentially a distilled version of a company brand. It’s a brand that focuses on one thing: you.

While company brands worry about HR policies, new product launches, and publicity goofs, personal brands have more to do with how you interact at a networking event, what clothes you wear, and how you engage on Facebook.

A personal brand gives you more license that a company brand. You can evolve it more quickly to fit changes in your business strategy or shifts in your target audience.

But whether you’re Nike or a coach who’s quitting the 9-5 grind and launching a new practice, there are some tenets that hold true for any brand.

Speak your truth.

People want to know the real you, especially when it comes to personal brands.

Don’t pretend you are anything other than what you are. If you don’t know the answer, just fess up. But more importantly, figure out what you’re really good at, find the people who need that special something, and then give it all you have.

Figure out what you’re really good at, find the people who need that special something, and then give it all you have.

Make it look pretty.

There’s a reason fashion captivates and Apple outsells Microsoft. Design does truly matter. I believe that humans crave a certain order to things, and nothing creates a beautiful sense of order like a well-designed logo, a photo with perfect lighting, or a piece of chocolate that’s perfectly packaged.

Find the story.

Stories are as old as human civilization. They are the webs of social interactions. Whether you’re communicating through a website, a brochure, or even a phone call, see if you can tell a story. Weave in the emotional elements and the concrete details so that others can feel the moment.

If this resonates, I’d love to hear from you! Also, if you have stories to share about your personal brand or your company brand, just leave a comment below.

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