You Don’t Need a Personal Brand, You Need to Be Useful
There are better things to focus on than grooming your online image
Are you successful, really, because of your brand? Or are you running a race that doesn’t matter and will hold no joy when you’re lying on your deathbed, reflecting on your life?
Most of the people telling us to get a personal brand have no qualifications and are doing it to fuel their own self-worth. There is an upsell, downsell, stand-on-one-hand sell, and the personal brand “need” is the net designed to trap you. You don’t freaking need it.
I’ve never spent a single minute worrying about a brand.
Let your work stand out for itself.
I’m empathetic to people’s need to make money, but, ladies and gentlemen, there are better ways than profiting from the personal brand revolution sweeping the internet.
All the time these gurus spend dishing out personal brand secret tips could be used on another pursuit that has value and is genuine. Self-interest is the worst way to be useful online, and people can smell that BS from a mile away.
Here’s why personal branding isn’t helpful for you:
The Detrimental Rise of One’s Self
Personal branding forcefully pushes the focus towards the importance of one’s self rather than placing the attention on the significance of being useful.
The goal of personal branding is to build an audience online, and the stupid thing is that you can do that by simply being useful.
Instead of building a brand and acting like you have your own reality TV show and are the most important thing in the world right now, you can ditch all of that shit and just be useful—speak your truth, share helpful advice, and above all, bring the world entertainment or knowledge or laughter or business tips or whatever the heck you have to share that might help another person.
You are not the most important person in our lives with your personal brand. Drop the brand and do what it means to be human: help another person.
Preach help, not your brand.
Incredible Amounts of FOMO
One of the biggest challenges I have seen with personal branding is that it creates the fear of missing out.
By falling for the personal brand lie, you end up comparing your brand to the next person’s and spending stupid amounts of time on the various social media platforms engaging, posting content, and still feeling you are not posting enough or that you are not enough.
The insane amount of content that these personal brand gurus are posting will turn you into a modern-day slave who is tied to your computer with the same chains used by the Egyptian slaves that built the pyramids.
What about if I just want to come home and have a warm vegetable dinner and talk to my partner rather than dating a phone with a social media app?
There is more to life than social media, likes, brands, followers, and a whole bunch of nonsense that has nothing to do with your joy or fulfillment.
If you have a million followers, I can guarantee it won’t make you happy; no vanity metric will do that for you.
The mental health issues caused by the need to be always on and maintain a personal brand are not worth it.
The Supposed Experts Are Wrong
Look carefully at the people peddling the snake oil personal brand garbage. The vast majority of them have never done the thing they are preaching.
There is a difference between an expert and someone who pretends to be so they can rob you of something you didn’t give them permission to take from you in the first place.
When the vast majority of these influencers say one thing, I challenge you to consider the opposite view.
What if they are wrong? What if the world doesn’t need another selfie with Branson on his private island? What if Richard just wants to sit on his island in peace without your selfie stick in his face?
I never heard Oprah or Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk talk about personal brands. All those influential people do is show up every day and try and be useful and help incredible amounts of people in the process.
Who these influential people are can never be defined by something as flimsy and ridiculous as a personal brand.
These individuals have transcended personal branding and done something much more meaningful that will one day become a legacy that outlives them.
Ditch Personal Branding for This
There is nothing wrong with wanting to share content or post on social media. What it comes down to is your intent and how that relates to something more important, like your purpose.
If you delete personal branding and come up with a vision for your life that allows you to be useful and do something you love doing, you’ll discover an alternative that the gurus are not sharing because it doesn’t help their selfie agenda.
Instead of personal branding, try this:
- Reject the idea of a personal brand.
- Show up as yourself.
- Find a way to help people.
- Make the objective selfless.
- Be kind in the process.
- Dial your ego all the way down.
- Treat people in an empathetic way.
This is the strategy for something much bigger than a personal brand, which will change your life and make you look back on everything you have achieved one day and be proud.
You don’t need a personal brand. You’re better off being useful.