How to Create and Engage with Your Personal Brand

by David Zinger | Posted | Engagement

How to Create and Engage with Your Personal Brand

Now is the perfect time to take a brand new look at yourself and who you are at work.

Personal branding has received much attention over the past ten years. To many, personal branding is seen as an inappropriate approach to the self or a complex topic with a sleazy pathway to articulating your identity. Some see personal branding as irrelevant and equate it with an ad campaign, a clever elevator pitch, or a flashy personal logo. Personal branding is dismissed as a bunch of mad men creating the Snap, Crackle and Pop characters for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. 

Your personal brand is a fusion of your identity and your reputation — it is less what you say about yourself and more what others say about you. You may learn more about your brand by listening to others who know you than by crafting clever statements or artistic logos.

Five years ago I wrote a popular post on personal branding. Scott Herrick said, “This is the cleanest, realistic way of working toward a personal brand I’ve seen. Great thinking and actionable as well.”  

While Chip Hartman added, “This article takes direct aim at both the qualitative AND quantitative aspects of brand engagement. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that your equation is really a stroke of genius! I’m sure there are other formulas and shortcuts to summarize personal branding; but this is the cleanest, clearest one I’ve seen.”

I was humbled by the high praise of the simple equation that follows. I invite you to examine the equation and read my original brief articulation of each of the elements of personal brand engagement:

Personal Brand = (Strengths + Value + Visibility) x Engagement

This is not intended to be an exact mathematical equation rather it is an indicator of the keys to creating bounce in your work and strengths. Your personal brand is a combination of your strengths, plus the value you offer, plus your visibility. This is then multiplied by how engaged you are with these 3 key ingredients of personal branding.

Strengths. Know you strengths. Live your strengths. Leverage your strengths in the service of others. A strong brand is a good brand. Read authors such as Peter Drucker, Tom Rath, Marcus Buckingham, and Martin Seligman to get a diverse and powerful foundational knowledge of your strengths. Don’t settle on one source for your personal brand strength training. Read my previous post for Halogen on how to ‘be strong for employee engagement.’

Value. It is powerful to have strengths but this must be paired with value. How do your strengths deliver value to others? This value could be economic or social value. Carefully consider how your strengths add or create value for others. Look to leverage your strengths for increased value for your organization, team, customers and clients.

Visibility. How do people know about you? What are they saying about you? If people are searching for someone with your strengths and the value you add, do they know how to contact you and where to find you. In your organization do you stand out? How well do you network and make use of social media to create visibility and broaden your visibility?

Engagement. Creating and sustaining a personal brand is delivering on your promises and your strengths and value. It is a process, not an event. Personal branding is more than a clever slogan. Ensure that you continually engage in developing your strengths, think and act upon the value you offer others, and maintain a vibrant and authentic visibility.

Reflecting on your personal brand over time

In the short shelf life of blog posts and the ephemeral nature of tweets and updates much of what we know is easily lost or drowned out by new information. While writing this new post I was encouraged to revisit the equation and description I wrote five years ago. While doing this, I realized how I had let some of my strengths, value, visibility, and engagement fade over time and I was inspired to revisit and re-energize my personal brand.

You don’t have to perceive the equation as a “stroke of genius” (of course, I don’t mind if you do). I do want you to put energy and meaning into solving this equation for yourself. Let this article trigger a rich contemplation, articulation, and action-orientation towards your personal brand.

If you require a little more perspective or inspiration, I encourage you to watch a ten minute video interview of Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood talking about What is Personal Leadership Brand?

You don’t have to equate yourself with characters from a cereal box but your work and personal brand engagement might be enlivened and enriched with a bit more snap, crackle, and pop.

Your turn: What strengths and values go into your personal brand?

How to Promote Your Awesome Self

To be effective, you need to give your personal brand some visibility.


Read Now
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How to Promote Your Awesome Self

To be effective, you need to give your personal brand some visibility.


Read Now


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