As many of you know, I teach Social Media Marketing for the UCLA Extension. I launched the class in the fall of 2008, and we’re in the middle of the Spring 2009 semester. We have 72 people enrolled in the class. Since the Extension focuses on adult education, the class is a perfect representation of the business community in Greater Los Angeles – insurance, health care, entertainment, small business, public relations, advertising, aerospace, etc.
Learning about personal branding
And the people who attend are in mid – to – senior level positions. They want to know more about social media – how it works, what it means, what the benefits are, etc. It’s a great class this time! Very lively. And last week Rodney Rumford (@rumford) discussed Twitter and the class loved it. Personal branding is a hot topic with this class as well, as it continues to be a fascinating topic for many business people. Especially with the economic turn down, I think workers are realizing that they need to be their own best advocate. However, I continue to sense a generational difference in accepting the concept of personal branding. Those who have been in the workforce longer still seem resistant and view personal branding as bragging. Newer workers seem a little more open to the concept of becoming your own best advocate.
Bottom line, I’m incorporating a session on personal branding into the course for two reasons: No one is exempt from the possibility of having to look for a new job; and I want to offer some resources I think will help clear things up for the class. In this social and online world, everyone now has a digital presence – whether they realize it or not.
I’m a BIG advocate of brand authenticity – both for the personal and business brand. To that end, I’ve pretty much agreed with what Dr. Hubert Rampersad has to say in his white paper: Authentic Personal Branding. Here’s a brief excerpt – I’ve also included his Personal Branding Framework as well.
Everyone has a Personal Brand but most people are not aware of this and do not manage this strategically, consistently, and effectively. You should take control of your brand and the message it sends and affect how others perceive you.
This proven authentic Personal Branding model entails a systematic and integrated voyage towards self-awareness, happiness, and enduring marketing success. A way of life in conformity with this system is a journey into the inner self, where your genius, values, hopes, dreams and aspirations lie quietly waiting to be discovered. The related practical tools will guide you to implement, maintain, and cultivate your brand effectively, articulate your brand with love and passion, improve your perceived value in the marketplace, become an expert in your field, and build credibility and a solid reputation within your industry. This innovative personal branding approach will allow you to view your life objectively and authentically and provides a road map to translate your genius, dreams and aspirations into manageable and measurable milestones and improvement actions.
We’ll cover this in the class in two weeks and I will be recommending a number of resources, including Dr. Rampersad’s.
Heli Sirkiä says: June 2, 2009 at 11:15 pm
Thank you Beverly!
This was such a great post! I was happy to read your comments on how there seems to be a generation gap in people’s reaction to personal branding – because ‘bragging’ is exactly how personal branding is often perceived in my country as well. I thought it was a cultural issue, that self promotion is not typical or easy to Finns (especially among older generation). Understanding that it is a global generation issue makes it easier to tackle. Dr. Rampersad’s framework is excellent! I was very impressed by his previous work “Total Balance Scorecard” that takes into account both total quality management and HR perspective. The piece was translated into Finnish by the Finnish Center of Excllence (EFQM audits) who spoke very highly of Dr. Rampersead.
In 1995 as an image consultant and fresh MBA I was wondering how to combine these two sides: strategic management and individual employees well being and work-life balance issues. Authentic Personal Branding seems to be the answer. This way the personal values and corporate values can really match! Very challenging, but excellent framework for any business manager to think and lead strategically their HR assets! And of course a MUST for any entrepreneur or job seeker in this digital information age.
All the best!