What is TED?
Before we start talking about personal branding and all of that stuff, let's first explain what TED is.
And I know you weren't really thinking of the teddy bear from the movie "Ted".
But just in case: it's not that Ted we're talking about here.
TED is an organisation that provides conferences devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).
Everything they do is driven by this main goal: How can we best spread great ideas?
What is personal branding and why is it important?
Now that we know which TED we are talking about, let's get down to business.
"Your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room". - Jeff Bezos.
According to Wikipedia, personal branding is the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands. It is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual, group, or organization.
Basically, personal branding is defined by:
✅ How you promote yourself.
✅ How you want the world to see you.
✅ It is the telling of your story.
✅ How it reflects your conduct, behaviour, spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes.
Check out our guide here for some key features about the importance of personal branding for entrepreneurs.
Personal branding has become more important than ever. You are the most important selling point of your service/product. People trust people! They are looking for someone they can proudly recommend and advocate to within their network.
According to the BBC, the number of self-employed workers has increased in the UK since 2001, and they now account for around 15% of the working population.
That means that the size of the gig economy in Britain is getting bigger. If you aren’t effectively managing your online reputation, then you run the risk of losing out on business.
This is why in TED, several talks have been made related to this topic, to influence people and help them understand how important it is.
The following points are 7 TED Talks worth watching about personal branding.
1️⃣ Caryn Foster Durham
In this talk, Caryn explains what personal branding should and should not be. Personal branding is not what you post on Facebook or how you respond on Twitter. Caryn suggests that you should prepare to fail when you launch your brand - because how you react to that failure determines how successful your personal brand will be in the long run.
Many businesses we know nowadays have failed and managed to survive because of how they have reacted to certain failures or setbacks.
She also explains that you are going to be told along the way to follow your dreams. However, you shouldn’t follow your dreams, as due to some circumstances in life, as they might vanish. Instead, find something you feel passionate about. When you are genuinely passionate and interested in your work, parameters will not exist, and you will forge forwards when you have overcome those failures. Your personal brand will be stronger.
Finally, she points out considering the self-awareness that you’ve gained along the way. The true value of your personal brand is when you value yourself, others have valued you, and you're able to take criticism not as a drawback, but as a point for reflection to make yourself better.
👼🏽 Launch your personal brand
👼🏽 Fail spectacularly
👼🏽 Feel so much passion for what you are doing that you don't care that you failed
👼🏽 Have enough self-awareness to know the value that you bring to others
2️⃣ Rob Brown
Rob Brown explains that a personal brand is about selling yourself. People buy people and if people get to know people, like them and get to trust them, they will buy from them. We all want other people to choose us. This is why you need to stand out.
What makes you to not stand out is noise.
With digital TV channels all over the world, social media being the new inbox, and loads of other people to connect with and follow, the chances for you to stand out and for people to know you are very low.
💢 Everything looks and sounds the same 💢
💢 It’s all blah blah blah 💢
The key way to stand out is through reputation:
🌀 What people see, feel, think, do, and say when they meet or see your name
🌀 What people say about you when you're not around
🌀 If you can get people talking and thinking about you, you've got a chance to standout
How can you build a strong reputation?
You need to build your character. A good name. It is what you stand for, what your values are, the principles you hold. What's unique to you, your expertise, the knowledge that you've got, the skills...the list goes on...
So, build on your inner being with everything you can learn and get good at.
After that, your personal brand will be the outward manifestation of who you are on the inside.
Build your network. Build your brand with more people. The bigger your network, the bigger your reputation.
"Your network is who you know, your reputation is who knows you". - Rob Brown.
Raise your profile. Not building your profile is like being brilliant but anonymous. The way to raise that profile is by reading and writing, sharing your ideas and this way, raising the profile.
Be authentic. Don’t try to be or imitate someone else. Be yourself. Be great at being you! Authenticity comes through, from the very inside of your character, towards creating your personal brand.
"Be Yourself, everyone else is already taken" - Oscar Wilde.
You have to get through the noise. Not sounding or acting like everyone else will make you stand out from the crowd. You will become the number 1 go-to choice for what you do.
3️⃣ Tai Tran
Tai Tran starts with a question. What is the weapon to getting that dream job? Is it a GPA, a university degree or a CV?
He suggests that the key is a personal brand. It will help you meet interesting people and help you achieve great things. It provides you with many opportunities.
Nowadays, the competitive job market is not about what you know, but who you know.
He also says that many people have a very authentic and unique voice which are recognised by people around them. The voice is always the same, but the tone will change with time, depending on context and purpose.
A personal brand needs to be centred by you, your voice, personality, passion and interests.
How can you incorporate personal branding into your life?
🏹 Embrace yourself. Don't be ashamed, share your story. Bring out your story behind your career interest.
🏹 Create value for your audience. Have a reason to speak. Write with the intention to create an impact on others. Position yourself as the top of mind in your industry.
🏹 Grow your relationship. It is not about how many people you know, it is about how many people you know and how well you know them. Share ideas with your connections, create close relationships, know them well.
Tai Tran personally thinks that relationship building should be:
50% of your time spent with people you aspire to be
30% of your time with people in your proximity peers
20% of your time should be spent paying it forwards to people that look up to you
4️⃣ Jenni Flinders
Nowadays, according to Jenni Flinders, there is pretty much an app for everything. But your image, personal brand and ability to correctly apply professional etiquette in the work environment is the only thing that cannot be downloaded or ordered online.
The way you show up, the image you project, the first impression you present, the tone of your voice will automatically inform people how you want to be treated.
Everyone has a brand, everyone is a brand.
But is the personal brand that you have the most accurate and impactful one of you?
Well, it has to be authentic to be accurate - never fake that first impression.
🥇 It has to be authentic 🥇
In order to identify your personal brand, to be the best version of you that you can be, you have to ask yourself:
🔱 What are you really passionate about?
🔱 What are your strongest attributes?
🔱 What sets you apart?
Now think about how people perceive you:
🔱 Do they think you are as good as what you think you are good at?
🔱 Do they know about your passions?
🔱 How would they describe you when you are not in the room?
🔱 How would someone summarize you if they are referring you for a job?
Never thought of this before, right?
When you think of these questions and write the answers down, you will start telling your story. You will improve that brand.
Once you build that perfect brand, you can make every moment count.
5️⃣ Talaya Waller
Talaya Waller here claims that the future of branding is personal. The average employee has ten times the amount of followers as compared to their company on social media.
People are starting to lose the trust of corporate branding, and prefer a recommendation from a person over a company. Even nowadays, companies are looking for influencers to market their products. Influencers have built a great network and a strong personal brand.
People do business with people who they know, like and trust. - Tayala Waller.
Most people haven't taken the time to develop a personal brand. The way to develop one is by identifying:
💧 A passion
💧 An opportunity
💧 Your strengths
Personal branding helps you share your story within every industry, leverage your expertise and make a positive impact on society.
Your personal brand is the most powerful tool to accomplish goals.
With personal branding, no company will be able to manage your perception.
The future of branding is personal, the future of branding is now. - Talaya Waller.
Today is about people creating and sharing human experiences.
6️⃣ Jacob Cass
In this talk, Jacob Cass states that we build a personal foundation through branding, blogging and social media.
The steps to polish that personal foundation is:
🔔 Define your brand:
You need to have a goal, have an idea of what you want to achieve in life. Then, a Unique Selling Point (USP), something that differentiates yourself from the rest of the people out there trying to get a job.
After these, you should have visuals that reflect your identity.
🔔 Create a website/blog
🔔 Utilise your networks
The main tip to communicate across all these platforms is being yourself and having fun with your personality. Providing value and sharing with other people.
7️⃣ Monica Bitrick
In this talk, Monica Bitrick believes that personal stories create personal brands. Each of us has a story and each of our stories is worth telling.
The key to creating a personal brand is figuring out who you are and what your character looks like.
Maybe you are a married husband with 3 kids. Maybe your family is from Greece. Maybe you are black. Maybe you are caucasian. Maybe you walk with a wheelchair. Maybe your dad is Morgan Freeman...
But hold up.
Who you are doesn't define how your character looks like. It is not what you are selling.
What's important is how you think, what your rules are, how you act, what you say, etc. All these create your character.
An employer nowadays won't hire you because of what's in your CV or resume, they will hire you because they like you and because you have sold yourself to them. The world is looking at you, not the resume.
On another hand, Monica Bitrick explains that people have a misconception of what personal brand means. It is much more than social media. It's not just about self-promotion or being visible online. You are a brand, and that is what will make a difference.