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An opposing position

Olivier Blanchard (The BrandBuilder Blog) wrote an interesting article saying that building a personal brand is a waste of time (R.I.P Personal Branding).  I believe Mr. Blanchard is wrong.

We already have a brand.  You may know it as reputation. But a rose by any other name…..

And as distasteful as it may be to say we’re building a brand, the fact is that we are.  William Arruda makes the point that when we think of Volvo, we think safety.  And they have the reputation to back it up.

When you think of Nike, you think of quality running shoes.  They also have the reputation to back it up.

The same is true of people.

I have a friend who is an ace purchasing agent.  When he negotiates, he’s a hard but reasonable negotiator.  If you win his business, he demands you keep to your agreement.  He wants his supplies when he wants his supplies and he has no trouble calling you out if you fail to live up to your end of the bargain.

He also has no problem ending the relationship if you screw up too many times.  He serves his company well.  He’s hard, but fair

When it was announced that his plant was being shut down he was immediately approached by one of the suppliers who had been on the receiving end of his bargaining skills (and his wrath from time to time).

He didn’t have to market himself.  He didn’t have to put out dozens or hundreds of resumes.  He didn’t have to job hunt.  His reputation, his brand, proceeded him and he took the new job.  How many of us can say the same?

To be fair, Mr Blanchard makes some very worthwhile points in his article.

He makes the point that you must hone your craft; that you have to do something to provide value.  That your work must speak for itself and that building a reputation is of the utmost importance.  And that you need to be  you – not a fake – just you.

These all help your reputation and, yes, it does build your personal brand.

I disagree with the overall premise of the article, but nevertheless, a good article worth reading.

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