After reading an article by Bruce Kasanoff (linkd.in/1udKlJ2), I have thought a little more about the notion of personal branding. In an earlier post, I advocated the use of personal branding to help educators to capture the essence of who they are and what they do.
Kasanoff warns professionals that people can confuse a ‘brand’ with a job description, and of companies that are out to ‘brand’ you- for big bucks in their own pockets. I would agree with him on these points. It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on branding yourself- there are so many online tools that can help spread your brand to the people you want to see it. I also agree that many great educators are out there that haven’t spent any time on branding, and they do just fine.
However I do think that people have an online presence these days, whether they like it or not, and it is important to be able to control the message about ‘you’ if you want to. When I delivered a workshop that included some information on ‘personal branding’ only a small number of the 50 people in the room had a brand statement about themselves. However, when asked would they like to have one, most were interested in learning more.
Branding doesn’t have to be a costly venture, nor does it need to be time-consuming. It is a great reflection tool and one that can really empower. Who spends time in their busy professional lives thinking about what they stand for as an educator? Who thinks about the impact they have on learning communities? There was a great buzz in the room when we went through the process of trying to capture what it is we do as educators, to create a unique, memorable and catchy statement. It is also an effective recruitment tools to tie together CVs, applications and your online presence.
So, while there are definitely pitfalls related to branding, I think the chance to reflect, design and promote yourself, in your own words, to be an activity well worth the time.