Personal branding seems to be a popular topic around the pub, even the brickie who lives a few streets away, and is not known for his new age sensitivities, has got a hold of it.
It is not new, Julius Caesar had a personal brand well before Bill Shakespeare wrote a play about him, and they killed him for it.
Tom Peters, who was really “hot” in the nineties wrote a prescient Fast Company article about personal branding, but missed the point, at least to my mind. This Roger Duncan e-book does it much better, listing 8 behaviors that build a personal brand, and if you followed the list, no doubt you would make a mark.
However, I think it can be summarised better, in a few words.
“Always deliver greater value than is expected”. Simple, but complicated at the same time.
A mate of mine was offered a bundle, just to meet with someone he knew vaguely for a coffee. If asked nicely, he probably would have made the 20 minutes, but being offered money????. He did not have the coffee, and it turned out that the supplicant did want something from him, and had my friend taken the money, it would have set up an obligation to deliver something he may rather not have.
There is never something for nothing in business, when it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Doing something unexpected for others, over delivering in the parlance, builds a bank of goodwill that at some point will be repaid.
Perhaps not today, or tomorrow, but it will come back to you. That is the way you build a persona brand, based on honesty, transparency, and over-delivery.