This couldn't be further from the truth! True personal branding is not superficial. It's more about understanding who you - and, therefore, 'YOU™' - are. That's right - the Trademarked You. This is how you are like shampoo. But just like in corporate branding, no matter how much money a company spends on marketing its brands, product brands aren't all about promotion either.

Neither building a brand for your company or for yourself is about creating a facade. Any company that produces a product that doesn't deliver on its promises has developed a very short-lived product in the marketplace.

Just as corporate branding is about zeroing in on the product's benefits for its customers, personal branding is about zeroing in on your greatest talents, strengths, and character traits. When someone needs the perfect person for the job, they'll know immediately that you're the person to call upon. Why? Because you have learned how to successfully define and communicate who you are. Just like we all know Volvo is about safety, and Starbucks is about a rewarding coffee experience, so everyone will know exactly who you are and what "YOU" have to offer.

Self-promotion is part of the process of creating a brand for yourself, but only a part. Indeed, communicating your personal brand to the people who most affect your career is essential, but it can also be subtle. You don't have to boast about what you can offer or send self-congratulatory emails.

In fact, no one has to know you're working on developing a unique identity for yourself at all. They'll simply become more aware of the contribution you can make in the workplace. Your value will increase without anyone necessarily becoming aware that you have consciously and deliberately worked toward making that happen.

How? By simply paying attention to the five activities you do every day that help you communicate your personal brand. You won't be marketing yourself in an obvious or intrusive way. You'll simply become more as you make sure your Actions, Reactions, Look, Sound, and Thoughts communicate your identity in an unobtrusive way. Your boss, colleagues, and customers will begin to notice you more and more and will begin to count on you to deliver in the areas that you have defined for your unique self.

What does this mean for you? It means that you can create a personal brand that is absolutely right for who you truly are, without feeling like you're promoting yourself 24/7. You can stand out at work without the discomfort of bragging or constantly blowing your own horn. Authentically branding yourself allows you to increase your profile and become known in a natural way for what you do best.

Now, that doesn't feel like self-promotion, does it?

Author's Bio: 

Brenda Bence is an internationally-recognized branding expert, certified executive coach, professional speaker, and award-winning author of the How YOU™ Are Like Shampoo personal branding book series. As President of Brand Development Associates International, Ltd. Brenda now travels the world speaking, training, and coaching individuals and companies to greater success through corporate and personal brand development. Visit or