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Personal Branding: Who Can Scream the Loudest? A Tale of Misunderstandings

Aktualisiert: 1. Okt. 2023

Personal branding, which could be a beautiful process, often seems like a competition of who can make the most noise. What's labelled as social selling often overlooks its social component – and I truly hope no one engages in such conversations in person. The pitfalls of early online advertising, such as uncloseable pop-up ads, are seeing a revival on LinkedIn in the form of relentless tagging, irrelevant self-portraits, and emotionally manipulative stories about refusing to do business with someone who mistreated a waiter (while ironically mistreating potential customers by bombarding them with these unambitious and hollow narratives). All of this overlooks what could genuinely be beautiful about personal branding: showcasing your individuality, providing a glimpse into who you are and how you think, and creating an opportunity for others to get to know you better.

Navigating Through the Noise and Irrelevant Narratives

One of the things I've always admired about the internet is its premise: if you can imagine it, you can make it happen. However, the caveat is that turning dreams into reality requires actual work, whereas dreaming is effortless. Another principle to consider: seek out your tribe. Recently, I led a workshop on personal branding. To be honest, I'm not a fan of the term or the process. To clarify, I would enjoy it if it could be conducted in a sophisticated, elegant, and charming manner, akin to good marketing, akin to a flirtatious dance with the audience. Yet, what I often observe are attempts at click-baiting, hasty strategies, and the worst form of self-promotion (no, I don't want to like your coaching Instagram page despite your multiple link shares).

So, I did what many product managers might advise against: I built something that appealed to me. I pondered the broader picture, such as trends in careers, the mechanics of networking and media attention, the significance of imagery, digital intimacy, the impact of figures like Trump and Freud, supplemented with a dash of Adorno and Baudelaire: in my opinion, social capital theory is not discussed enough.

I endeavoured to understand why certain profiles succeed, what works for them, and how to communicate within a framework. I offered practical advice on when to post (spoiler: yes, Friday at 5 pm might be the best time, but if your content lacks substance and merely adds to the noise with yet another self-referential, uninspiring, AI-generated post, let me assure you: timing isn't everything).

I attempted to dissect what the shift in perception of serious business signifies, as exe

mplified by Bill Gates' transition to colorful sweaters and a more 'pop' style. I explored the connection between the much-discussed #quietluxury and status, the beauty and significance of digital gardens, and AI tools that could be useful (although without understanding the context and mindset, the entire tool game can feel both useless and soulless).

So, here it is: my playbook. It might challenge your views on LinkedIn, inspire you, and offer fresh perspectives. If you're a skeptic, you should read it. If you've been wanting to become more active but didn't know where to start, this could be the right place. If you're seeking something different from the hundredth guide on marketing automation, you might find this engaging and worth a try.

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