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Tom J. Hidvegi Headshot

Branding Yourself for 2014

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Personal branding became such a buzzword that it's rather lame to use it. Regardless of the overused term and its negative connotation, there is no way to avoid it in 2014. Everyone's value is earned rather than built. Since, by default, branding is based on a point of reference, it is in our best interest to create our own before it is referred by anyone else.

If we tend to use personification for branding goods, why not use "brandification" for our own personas? Reference points in our lives tend to gravitate naturally towards a human set of values, but due to some hunger for recognition, we then turn to artificial recognition and purchase badge-value brands and products as navigation points for our very own self brands.

So let's omit all artificial navigation points and examine our own personal branding DNA.
Does it have fair amount of values and clear roles people can relate to? If so, to what extent do people relate to brands? People tend to follow brands for what the brands believe in and why they exist. The very same rule is applied when building a personal brand. Relevance and engagement are key when building an audience; thus, paying attention to what others have to say has become crucial.


It's you versus you, some would say; but at the end of the day, when you measure the success of your very own personal brand, the ultimate game is about you versus others. If you smartly define your brand map and consistently pay attention to your key touchpoint content, then regardless of your Klout score, the hard work will pay off simply because people will naturally gravitate towards you. One of the best values in life is the relationship currency, and with a greater personal brand, you will ultimately set the highest exchange rate and still become one of the best exchange bureaus.

As Simon Sinek once said, "Stop doing what you are good at and do what you love doing, and others will follow." Our brains are organized around narratives; therefore, it is your choice to set the healthy ratio of narrating others and listening to others. You will shortly lose your fear of being wrong and embrace creativity, allowing and empowering others to form opinions about you. This is when you are going to reach the point of freedom -- the ultimate personal branding territory in which you will function as a real brand, with reference points on your navigation system formed by other people rather than objects.

No matter how lame a buzzword can become, it's your task to see through the clutter and pick up the relevant tools for your own benefit. Equip yourself with instruments to boost your confidence influencing others. Reward and recognition plays a super important part in our lives, and by having to work on a personal branding on your own, you will receive them both.

J. K. Rowling was spot-on when she simply said: no story lives unless someone wants to listen. So what is your real story then?

Just think about it.