Personal branding in Singapore has become increasingly indispensable, due to three elements: Globalization, the gig-economy and the normalization of social media.
Yet, sometimes because of a few narcissistic individuals, personal branding in Singapore is cast in a bad light.
It becomes associated with “shameless self-promotion” or buay paiseh.
Is this always the case though? What exactly is personal branding?
There are many definitions–Let’s look at some of them.
- According to Entrepreneur, 5 steps to building your personal brand:
“Your personal brand is how you appear to the world. Therefore, it serves to reason that a strong brand is preferable to one that is unpolished and uninteresting.”
- According to Mashable, Personal Branding 101:
“Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, yet each and every one of us is a brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others. As a brand, we can leverage the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others. We can build brand equity just like them.“
“Your personal brand should represent the value you are able to consistently deliver to those whom you are serving. This doesn’t mean self-promotion – that you should be creating awareness for your brand by showcasing your achievements and success stories. Managing your personal brand requires you to be a great role model, mentor, and / or a voice that others can depend upon. For example, when I write a blog or an article – I am extremely mindful that my community of readers expects a specific “experience of thought” from me.”
The above three definitions are reasonable.
Personally, my favourite definition of personal branding is that articulated by William Arruda—
Successful Personal Branding Requires Focused Introspection
Branding is based in authenticity. It’s not spin. It’s not packaging. And it’s not about creating a false image for the outside world.
You need to know yourself – truly know yourself – to build your personal brand. That means you must get clear on your goals, values, passions, mission, strengths, differentiation, etc.
I also love the way William puts it—
“People with the most successful personal brands know what make them great, and they use those superpowers to increase the success of their team, their projects, their clients, and the companies they work for – making themselves visible and indispensable in the process.
Of course, before you start communicating your brand to others, you need to be clear about your unique promise of value – what’s authentic to you, differentiating you from your peers and making you relevant and compelling to your target audience (key decision makers and influencers). If you start expressing or demonstrating your brand before you have crystal clarity, your efforts may be a waste of time…
…So if personal branding is more show than tell, are you showcasing your value?”
Therefore, personal branding is all about knowing yourself first, then communicating traits of this authentic self into value for the larger community.
Does this not change your perspective of personal branding in Singapore? 🙂
And no, it is not about being shameless. Far from it. It’s about introspection, listening, and communicating value to make the eco-system a better one.