This is a great short piece on how to create and market your personal brand. Unfortunately too many people think of a personal brand as

Image of Wine Library TV's Gary Vaynerchuk.

Image via Wikipedia

fake, but in fact, personal branding is just a way to make sure you are telling people what is great about you. The key is to keep it real and truthful, so that your personal branding reflects who you really are and what value you can provide to others.

Personal branding doesn’t only have to be about branding for public speakers or celebrities. For example when I teach my MBA students at Florida International University, I teach them that there is no escaping managing their personal brand online and setting expectations in the workplace is crucial.

Gary Vaynerchuk is the focus of this article and he is a great example of someone that leveraged who he truly is into a powerful personal brand. He is rough and outspoken and a little crazy, but rather than try to push a fake personal brand, he has used his personal brand to turn the world of wine selling upside down.

What is your personal brand and what personal stories will help your portray your personal brand. Start with what you do and what you are best at and then get into asking other people what they see as your personal brand. This is a crucial step, because more often than not our personal image of ourselves is not what people see when they think of us, so it is imperative that you get the truth from others. It can be a difficult and painful step, but if you want to succeed at promoting yourself, then you must understand how people interpret and see you.

Tied into personal branding is understanding who you want to be and soul searching to determine if what you are is what you ultimately want to be. Imagine yourself now as you want to be and believe in that vision and that it is already clearly now and change will be a much easier process.

I have a marketing and personal branding client here in Miami that I am coaching, that presents himself as a dumb ole boy from Alabama, but he is brilliant in business. He uses self-deprecating terms about how he thinks he is on a personal level to make people feel more comfortable with him. What he means by that though is that he isn’t afraid to admit what he doesn’t know and that is one of the key successes to personal branding. Being able to be honest with yourself and your prospects about what you know and don’t know will save you a lot of hassles later. Too many people spend too much time trying to brand themselves into a corner, that they don’t really shine and then they have to spend all of their time trying to recover when people understand who they are.

What is your personal brand? Who are you?

Think about a few key stories that define who you are today. Write them down. These can be simple things that you remember from your childhood or entertaining stories from your adult life.  For example, one of the questions people often ask me is how I manage to do so many different things TV, writing, speaking, parenting. I could reply that Im just gifted with an unusual amount of energy, but the truth is that working is something I started very early on in my life.

via Mastering The Uncomfortable Art Of Personal Branding | Fast Company.