Whether you like it or not, we are not only in the Social Media Era, but the era of temp or contract work. Whereas this previously had negative connotations, as a recent Fast Company article pointed out, temp is no longer a four-letter word. Unlike years ago when joining a firm meant many years of employment, or even a full career with one company, today’s employment picture is completely different and you’re more than likely to be a temp that receives an annual 1099 tax form from a company. With this, the importance of having a great personal brand that you can use to get that next assignment is becoming ever so more critical.
Building a personal brand is not an easy proposition, but takes time and fine tuning. To get you started, you really need a framework to assist you. I can’t think of a better way of getting started than by purchasing a copy of BrandingPays: The Five-Step System to Reinvent Your Personal Brand. This book, written by branding expert Karen Kang, is an essential guide to walking you through the process in a very systematic way. A former principal and partner with Regis McKenna Inc., Karen has translated and extended the McKenna methodology for positioning some of the world’s iconic companies like Apple, Intel and Genentech, to individuals. BrandingPays is a practical guide for anyone who is serious about personal branding and who wants to do it as efficiently as possible.
I recently had the distinct pleasure of talking to Karen about her book and her goals for it. It’s clear that she, too, recognizes that in today’s environment there is no such thing as job security and that we all need to think like we are contract employees. In fact, she contends that we’re all “free agents” whether we realize it or not. With this, we need to take responsibility to brand ourselves to survive, and thrive, in a free agent world. We have to look beyond our feeling that having a personal brand might be somewhat narcissistic because personal branding, done right, is less about you and more about how you can add value to the world. She explained that it is important to develop a shift in your mind set from a Me to a We attitude and how your brand is positioned to make the world a better place.
As Karen also pointed out, your brand messaging can’t be like a megaphone that is blasting an “advertising” message, but something of substance that engages the community you’re trying to reach. It needs to be one that solicits two-way dialogue or else it will be short-lived.
Karen also emphasized that in this era of Personal Branding, we all need to get away from a “speed networking” mentality with how many business cards you can hand out a networking event to one of connecting with only a few at each event and developing true relationships with them. You want to make a favorable impression so people will want to engage with you because they see you as being likable and bringing value to the relationship. If you employ this methodology as part of your personal branding strategy, influencers will more likely endorse you, introduce you to others and refer you for your next assignment or job.
It is imperative that you recognize that personal branding is perhaps the greatest key for success in this Social Media era. As a firm advocate and speaker on personal branding, I would highly recommend that you purchase a copy of Branding Pays. It is extremely well written and is the definitive guide to a systematic process of not only building your brand, but refining it, as well. It is a MUST have in this era of temp, 1099-type employment.
For further information on the book, or to order it, simply click on the following link: