Build Your Wheel - Random Thoughts on Personal Branding

Since Tom Peters Fast Company's article written in 1997, the personal branding idea is gaining strength. The current economic downturn changes our career thinking.

Showing to the world how different and unique we are, is the new normal. Individuals also face hypercompetition when applying for jobs, not only companies.

The wheel concept is built around change ideas that need traction. It has a positive impact on the initiator (see slides below).

What is not personal branding ?

By using the 'branding' word, we tend to think about manufactured goods. It could sound quite commercial. Personal branding is not pitching all the time or 'trying' to have a certain (fake) image. It's pure authenticity and a reflection of who we really are.

It's about what we stand for and what we add to the movement (our role as individuals).

What's important to notice is that people chooses to recognize us as valuable persons and to recommend us or not.

Passion and vision

First of all, everyone has a passion or a deep interest in something AND a vision of what's needed to be done better.

Actually, change is at the center of the personal branding concept. We've seen it with President Obama, Mohammed Yunus or other change agents. They analyzed a situation and decided to make a radical change. Their vision is a collection of actionable ideas.

If we don't go for change, we'll have more chances to be lost in an echo chamber. The blue ocean strategy is a perfect picture of this. We need to create new spaces to thrive, no matter how weird we sound.

Ideas are social objects

Hugh McLeod is a huge fan of this concept. He wrote a few blog posts about it and stresses us to pay attention to that.

Social objects connect us and then social interactions happen all around. This is where people chooses to notice and to join the conversation.

We are now designers sharing insights. Whatever industry we're in, we choose to talk about certain stuff or not.

'Pitching' is not a viable solution. It's annoying, linear and selfish. Inviting people to join a new conversation and being an organizer is what matters.

Each of these social objects build our wheels, that allow us to move faster and to gain influence within our networks.


Social objects for beginners :
More thoughts on social objects :
What makes a good social object ?
Why some social network services work and others don't — Or: the case for object-centered sociality
The Brand Called You
The Blue Ocean Strategy
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