personal branding versus professional branding

Personal Brand Versus Professional Brand. It Doesn’t Matter!

As a brand voice coach, I spend WAYYYY too much time locked in the personal brand versus professional brand debate.

The concept of personal branding goes back to 1997, when a fellow named Tom Peters wrote “The Brand Called YOU”. Tom’s theory was that doing your job well was valuable – but to reach a higher level of success, you needed to differentiate yourself from all the other people who had equal (or better) skillsets.

Tom identified personal attributes as the secret sauce.

Over the years, personal branding was increasingly associated with social media influencers and B-list celebrities. The term became somewhat tarnished, so marketing and branding folks came up with a new label: professional branding. To some entrepreneurs and executives, this term has more gravitas and a less cringe-y vibe.

That said, it’s largely a 🍅To-MAY-toe 🍅To-MAH-toe situation.

Whatever adjective you choose to tack onto it, the core word is BRAND.

Your brand encapsulates your skills and talents, expertise, and personality. And your brand voice is how you intentionally share all that stuff with the world.

📣I believe that the first step towards creating a strong brand voice is DITCHING the idea that your personal and professional identities are separate.

They’re not. You’re just one person!

Maybe you dress differently at work. Or swear more when you’re at home.

Maybe your work space is neater than your living room. Or vice versa.

But these are just surface differences. Deep down, you carry the same attitudes, beliefs, values, and viewpoints, and that’s what makes you unique.

Your personal and professional brand is one and the same.

Whatever you call it… YOU are your brand. And whether you’ve worked on it or not, you already have a brand voice.

You broadcast your brand voice to the world every day, through your website, social media, blog posts, newsletters, email, and face-to-face interactions.

Call it your personal brand. Or call it your professional brand. Call it whatever feels right to you. Because it’s just a label.

The important thing is to differentiate yourself in a positive way. And that happens by developing an authentic brand voice that highlights both your expertise and your personal qualities.

To become more successful, you don’t have to change who you are. You have to become more of who you are. Your personality has a built-in specialty. It’s how you do what you do — and how you do it differently than everyone else. This is your highest value.”  – Sally Hogshead, author and speaker

????Thanks for reading. Every second Wednesday, I share fresh ideas to help you write with personality and pizzazz, and nurture your creativity. Sign up now and I'll pop the next issue into your inbox!

Kim Scaravelli

Kim Scaravelli

Kim Scaravelli is a brand voice coach, writer, and author Making Words Work. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her unruly family, a sweet dog named Stevie, and a sarcastic cat named Winnie.