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Why personal branding is BULS**T!

Monday 17th June 2024

Simone McNichols-Thomas

Guest Post

Post originally published in Sales Impact Academy Blog

Are you ready to be slapped in the face with some hard truths? “The majority of what we think we know about marketing is bullshit” and “Personal Branding” should be given a hard pass if you’re serious about dominating your market and being a person that adds real value

Christopher Lochhead – Author of Play Bigger and innovative big thinker – was live on In This Together talking about How Rebels and Innovators Create New Categories and Dominate Markets. He pushed the unfiltered message that devoting time towards a personal brand, which you’ve manufactured and puked out onto social media, is not the way to success. Instead of trying to be a brand, focus on being a legendary person, and building an esteemed reputation.

So what’s Christopher‘s problem with personal branding?

The Kardashianisation of the marketing sphere has left a sour taste in the mouths of serious innovators and radical marketers. Far too much of personal branding has become about being seen as ‘cool’ rather than being good at what you do. In today’s climate, people are yearning for what’s ‘real’ and what’s ‘different’ so anyone who wants to be an influencer, according to Christopher, “is by definition an ‘assh**e’…”??‍♂️

The personal branding of today is often disingenuous and contrived – it isn’t trying to make a difference or produce tangible outcomes. What does posting staged photos on social media twenty times a day actually get you, if you haven’t got something of substance to sell? You should want a reputation predicated on producing results. They are what matter.

What should you do instead?

1. Find your niche and focus your talent there.

Ask yourself what it is you want to be known for and begin to nurture this specialty with your actions. You can produce products, create new categories, or provide services that solve problems and align with your unique POV. Create opportunities for yourself by being vocal about what you do and how you do it well. And back it up with results- that is what matters and what builds a valuable reputation.

2. Birds of a feather flock together.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you! Find people of substance who produce legendary results. You’ll know who they are because you probably admire them already or they’ve come up with ideas in the past which have really made you think. You are judged by the company that you keep, so be sure that the people in your network are ambitious and aim to be radically different.

3. Be different!

Difference is the magic code to unlocking legendary status! Embrace your difference and make a difference with whatever you do. Trying to be like everyone else is a waste of time.

So what is Christopher saying? Rethink this idea of personal branding. Stop self-aggrandising! What people really want is a good reputation and that takes time. People want to be known for their contribution, their collaboration, and their impact.

Reputations over personal branding all. day. long.?

For more on this topic, you can seek out Christopher Lochhead‘s brilliant podcast here. You can also catch up on his In This Together broadcast on our Youtube Channel!