The Elephant in the Room

In a workshop I was running, someone said, “people will think I have an ego if I start telling them about my value and what’s possible for me.” HELL NO I said. Well not exactly.

I used to run into this a lot. Truthfully, there was a time when I thought that personal branding was synonymous with egotistical. Then I learned the truth about personal branding (because I learned the consequence of not having one…you can read that story here.). I learned that personal branding is about building trust with people. In order to build trust people have to know you. They need to know your values and your value.

When this woman shared her fear about personal branding I was so happy. It meant we could address the elephant in the room. I know people think this way. They’ve seen people build personas rather than brands. They’ve also seen people build brands from the outside-in without consideration for others. These are big no-nos when it comes to personal branding.

Rather than just tell everyone, personal branding isn’t about ego I shared one of my personal brand stories with the group. It goes like this: Years ago I was told, “you do great work but no one knows who you are.” I thought that my work would speak for itself and that opportunities would come to me. When my boss gave me that feedback I was stunned. I let it sink in. I realized she was right. I had to make a change if my career was going to go anywhere. So, I began building my brand. I built relationships with my peers and the leaders in the organization. I let them know what was important to me (my values) and where I knew I could contribute and make a big impact to the organization (my value).

Not long after, I was tasked with a really exciting brand relaunch which included creating a new signature experience. I was PUMPED. Let’s fast forward through the challenge of a brand relaunch and creating a signature experience that would drive revenue and be seen as “cool” to the target audience. Here’s what happened: that signature experience grew revenue in one category by 122% in 9 months. 122%!

The lesson? It’s not egotistical. It’s not egotistical to share the value you can bring. If you know you can make a bigger impact and do more you’ve GOT TO tell people.

If I had kept quiet about what I could do, that rebrand might not have happened. That signature experience wouldn’t have launched.

Get out of your own way. Stop telling yourself that it’s egotistical to talk to people about what you can do. Think of the possibility. How can you grow your influence and impact? I think at the very least, you have an idea. Let’s build your personal brand so that the rest of us can find out!

Tell me, what holds you back from building your personal brand?