Whether you like it or not, the term “Personal Brand” is here to stay. Originally called and still in many places “thought leadership”, it is about being identified as a leader or expert in some respect. Before it was even given a label, personal brands have been there in front of us and usually related to a product or corporate brand. Edison with the light bulb, Einstein with Theoretical Physics, Gates with Microsoft, Jobs with Apple and so on.
Now it is time for the long tail to take over and for us to create a personal brand that is niche but powerful and helps us improve our careers/businesses along with increasing our recognition in an area we are passionate.
In Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, personal branding expert Dan Schwabel teaches readers how to use social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, etc.) to stand out in the working world. About.com says “The book is aimed at new grads and young professionals who are looking for their first big job, but would also be useful to anyone who wants to climb the corporate ladder or start their own business venture.” I agree buy I disagree on that one. Let me elaborate.
When I picked up the book I knew a fair amount about the concept of personal branding so the first portion of the book was a bit of a review. The book is separated into three major sections:
* Part I: “The Rise of Personal Branding,” which gives you a little history. This is where you get your first clue that this book is targeted toward younger job seekers who are looking to build a career. This is why About.com reviewed the book like this and it is focused on Social Media as your gateway to Personal Branding success. If you’re still a little confused about all this social media stuff and want to figure out how it fits into your marketing strategy – you need to read this section.
* Part II: “Command Your Career in Four Steps,” This is the heart of the book and what I liked the most because it gives you a practical roadmap you can follow regardless of where you are in your career. This is where you will get all the how-to guides and resources to discover, create, communicate and manage your personal brand.
* Part III: “Now You Have Command.” This is a bit of “take some action, this is how other people” have and it has the obligatory success stories that must backup what Dan is trying to explain to those that might be skeptical. They are called “Brand Commanders” and it is pretty good and you will probably find someone to identify with your own journey.
Three Audiences for this Book (via Small Business Trends)
I was going to talk about the types of people that would benefit from this book more than just college students or young people as the review from About.com said. Ivana Taylor at Small Business Trends did an awesome job quantifying the usefulness of various people looking to build their own personal brand.
If you’re currently looking for a full time job — This is a terrific book for you. If you’re a Gen Y looking for your first job, you will find practical tips and tricks for overcoming the “lack of experience” challenge in Chapter Five’s “Discover Your Brand.” If you’re a more experienced job-seeker who needs to look into a different industry, this chapter will help you re-position yourself for an industry that might be faring better in today’s economy.
Independent business owners, consultants and freelancers – You will find wonderfully practical tips on creating and communicating their brand using social media tools. Dan includes a wonderful “Blog Success Checklist” to make sure that your brand-building using a blog is painless and successful:
Small businesses looking for broader networking reach — Does this describe you and your business? If so, you will find “The Popular Social Networking Sites” chart a great summary of the biggest and best social networking sites and how to use them to increase your sphere in influence and build your network.
Don’t just take my word for it
I came across this great video review of the book from. It is from Maria Reyes-McDavis AKA @WebSuccessDiva on Twitter. Enjoy.