Saturday, December 3, 2011

Personal Branding

First, my thanks to Eric Canada with Blane Canada for highlighting this helpful article in Inc magazine.
The article is by Ms. Marla Tabaka. She writes a column under the heading of “The Successful Soloist.”  The title of her latest column is “What is YOUR Personal Brand?”  The story is geared to small business owners and entrepreneurs.  However, it offers several parallels to economic development and the professional economic developer.
She interviews Dan Schawbel and they do an excellent job highlighting the importance of cultivating your personal brand.  The examples are on point. Mr. Schawbel offers several options like social media, blogs, resumes, etc.  The best takeaways:
  • Personal branding is how we market our self to others.
  • A successful career is in part built on your reputation, size/strength of network (think Rolodex, LinkedIn, Twitter, and to a lesser extent Facebook) and your contributions.
  • The suggested steps in creating a personal brand are concrete and achievable.  However, it takes considerable work.
  • Perhaps the best point of all: if you don’t brand yourself first, then someone else will brand you. 
As economic developers, we especially understand the importance of the last bullet.  We want to tell our story before someone else does, and gets it wrong.
I suggest all economic developers read this article and give it some thought.  Ask yourself these questions:
  • What have you recently done about increasing the value of your personal brand?
  • What are you currently doing to increase the value of your personal brand?
  • Do you have a plan to increase the value of your personal brand?
  • What venues will you use to increase the value of your personal brand?
  • Why did you choose these particular venues?
  • Are your venues of choice somewhat integrated?
Again, I am very grateful to Eric Canada for posting this on Twitter.
The link is:

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