An August 1997 article by management guru Tom Peters in Fast Company, titled “The Brand Called You,” popularized the concept of personal brand.
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc.,” Peters wrote. “To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
The world has changed a lot in 24 years, but establishing a powerful personal brand is still a favorite career development topic. More than 100 books on the topic are for sale on Amazon. In fact, “personal brand” has become such a hyped-up term that it sometimes provokes eye-rolls.
Karen Kang defines personal branding in her book BrandingPays as “creating your image and guiding your reputation.” I define your personal brand as: What others who don’t know you well think or say about you when you aren’t around.