Trust and Personal Branding
I’m continuing on the theme of personal branding as it is something I find incredibly fascinating. So we now know that personal branding is how we market ourselves in order to improve our image or career prospects (Mike Wood in Entrepreneur – Why Personal Branding Must be Your First Focus). Within the definition though is an implicit understanding that we are only showing our best side and not the whole picture. Logically this makes sense, and whether or in person or online we wouldn’t introduce ourselves as great at meeting new people but terrible at driving. Or I’m a terrible cook but hey, I’m really great at designing websites! We need to put our best selves forward otherwise it’s imaginable that no one would really get anywhere in life.
Within corporate branding we are asked to trust companies with every advertisement and purchase. We need to believe that the product will do what it says as we always have options to go elsewhere. Therefore corporations spend vast sums of money coming up with the slogans and advertisements which convince us to trust us. The following commercial by Geico is a perfect example of this:
Within the commercial they even discuss how important trust is with a brand. It is impossible to think of a brand that has not promised something whether it is safety, health, beauty, longevity or simply a better life.
With personal branding it is logical to think therefore that part of the image we must build is one of trust in ourselves. If we admit that we are not being completely being honest though, how can anyone trust our personal branding?
I think I’m back to my conclusion from my first blog, that there is a middle ground, although I think this one has a pinch of salt on it. Much in the same way we may buy in to the cereal that promises to help us lose weight we realise that this will only be successful as a part of a combination of factors including exercise and eating healthy otherwise. Perhaps the formula for a healthy personal brand is one that is truth combined with a healthy pinch of believability.
Not too sure how much you should reveal within your personal branding? Click here to find out more about truth in personal branding.