Great to read your perspective, as I’m sure it is shared by many others.
The problem these days is that people think that building a brand is about looking good, rather than being good. If your brand looks like you are higher quality than you are, that’s bad branding, no matter if you are a corporation, a product, a small business, or a person.
Branding, when it’s done well, is a well-balanced combination of colours, symbols, images, words and feeling that abstractly represent all the essential elements and qualities of whatever it belongs to. It’s a language that communicates on a universal level.
You can’t know a person with a glance, but if their branding is done right, you will know, at least, if you want to know more or not, if they are who you are looking for or not, if you are their target audience or not. It’s a front door, it’s not the house itself. If the front door looks like the house belongs to the mayor, and you walk in and it’s the house of a bunch of hippies, that’s bad branding. You should be able to decide at the front door if it’s what you’re looking for or not. Because that’s just considerate of the time and energy we all have to spare, in this very short life we all live.
A personal brand is not static, it is as dynamic as the person it represents. But as humans, we are unable to retain a lot of detail in our very partially used brains as of yet, and these simplified representations leave a longer lasting impression than pages of text or hours of conversation.
You are not your brand, but your brand should be you: it should sound like you, it should feel like you, it should be the very essence of you, so that even when you aren’t there to talk about yourself, someone who is looking for you, and your version of the world can find you. And those who do know you should be able to trust that your brand honestly represents what you value, what you stand for, and what you are committed to creating in this world.
From someone who lives her dream life and career, let me tell you, it exists. But you’ve got to take the time to get to know yourself very intimately. Wish you much luck finding and living your dream life.