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On personal branding

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I served on a panel on personal branding last night for the D.C. Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Sandwiched between image consultant Marva L. Goldsmith and lawyer (and expert networker) Christina Ayiotis, I spoke about how personal branding can help with career planning and strategy.

One thing that struck me over the course of the evening was that many people may have a distaste for “personal branding,” based on a misconception that it’s primarily about clothing, or that it’s only for social butterflies. While fashion and networking are part of the package, personal branding is fundamentally about your reputation. What are you good at doing? How do you make sure the right people recognize you for it?

“Personal branding” only works when it’s authentic. It comes down to knowing your own passions and strengths and projecting that clearly to the world in a variety of settings. When done right, there’s nothing fake about it.

Totally bewildered by the concept of personal branding? Check out Gen Y personal branding expert Dan Schawbel’s excellent primer.