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Some personal branding guru started following me on Twitter the other day.

As soon as I received this life affirming news, I called my Mom to tell her I’d finally made something of my wretched self. All I have left to do is beat that pesky Japanese dude in a hot dog eating contest and I’ll reach Nirvana.

Personal branding is one of those things that we’ll likely look back on in X number of years and go “WTF were we thinking?” Methinks, our kids will have a far more derisive view of this horseshit.

Here are a series of questions I have about personal branding (If you have insight and answers into any of these please leave a comment):

  • Was this term invented by someone who got punched in the face regularly but was not a boxer/wrestler/MMA person?
  • Why must everything, including me-at-work, be branded?
  • Do cows and other assorted livestock/beasts of burden talk about their “personal brands” after long days of eating grass in the fields? Do they have personal brands or are the brands that are burned on to them proprietary to their owners?
  • Will we one day have “private brands” so that our loved ones don’t forget what we’re all about? If so, would “shitty father” or “fucked up teenager” constitute strong private brands?
  • Wasn’t a personal brand once an “identity” or “work identity”?
  • Did we create “personal branding gurus” so that the mothers of “social media gurus” could feel better about their kids’ line of work?
  • What’s Lexington Steele‘s personal brand? Sasha Grey‘s?
  • Does Reverend Moon run a successful “Personal Branding Guru Training School”? If yes, would he let me in?
  • What would Karl Marx’s personal brand be if he was kicking around today? “Kooky, thoughtful Santa who’ll eviscerate your firm’s bottom line,” or “Bitter old fellow who sucks at projections”???

Oh, BTW young folks, if you mention your “personal brand” in a job interview with me your done. I don’t care if you are God’s gift to communications.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Danny says:

    Was thinking about this the other day and the only things that really irks me is the term itself and some of the smarmy tactics that might get used as a result of the fact that people may think the term gives them license to act like a “brand”, which I think we can agree isn’t always a great thing.

    I’m pretty sure I know who you might be referring to and this one guru I quickly stop paying attention to threw his own brand around enough to make me wanna puke.

    In the end, I think that it all comes down to the same things real brands should do. Be nice, be real. No need to get all crazy about things like including what magazines you’ve been mentioned in on your blog.

    Which brings me to the second thing I was pondering last night after I read Slash’s bio (you gotta read it)… I wonder if the advent of the net and more recently social media, has increased the number of snake oil salesmen, so to speak, or if we just see them more. I think that if you see an opening early enough and jump all over it, you’ll be gold in a few years and that is what is attracting these people.

    Seems like everyone in SM is starting to really rally against the SM “gurus”. That’s the new “trend”.

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