Personal Brand vs. Company Brand

Personal brand definitions can be tough when you are operating within a corporate environment. But you CAN execute a personal brand right, even despite the lines sometimes being blurred between what is personal and what is corporate.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Yesterday, I gave a presentation to a group of professionals where the following question was raised:personal brand

“If I am creating online content for my company, which is going out under their social media channels, and this content is some of my best work, how do then I build my own personal brand?”

This is a real issue many people face in this situation.

Most companies have their own social media accounts, but real people have to run them.  And those people matter.

The result is that the employees’ ideas and content are channeled to the company’s accounts, but the employee themselves are left holding the bag.

Or are they?

Our own brand is based on what we offer and do best.

And what we communicate that through our own channels should complement and mirror the work that we do, which develops our personal brand.

It doesn’t mean that you end up making your personal brand a “parrot” of the company content.

The trick lies in how do you communicate your brand through our own channels that shows value and keeps that continuity of what you want to be known for intact through the content that you produce.

Let’s break this down to help illustrate my point:

“Susie” is a program manager at a company. She manages the social media feed for the corporate accounts via the company’s LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

She can still create and own her personal accounts of these pages concurrently to what she is posting on behalf of the company.

But her personal brand can be integrated into supporting the work she does. By posting something along the lines of “I am so excited to be doing outreach to ___ as a part of ____’s work – had a great meeting today with ___.”

A statement like this posted on social media connects Susie to her company but puts her personal spin and brand on what she does.

Jared Reddick of Resume Studio gave a fabulous presentation at the 2014 National Resume Writers’ Association conference on stealth job seekers on LinkedIn. One of the points he made was that in the summary portion of the LinkedIn profile, people can build their personal brand by promoting the company.

Why not put a plug in for your current employer which can also serve to enhance your brand as well? Here’s an example: “ABC Company is a leader in ____, and if you would like to join such a dynamic team where you can have the opportunity to do _____, then visit their website at _____.”

By framing up the company and the opportunities inside, you are actually subtly enhancing your brand as an ambassador of this business.

Personal brand integration into your social media channels can happen through posts that feature links, observations, excitement, discoveries, and sharing of related content.

So yes, there is a difference about what the company is saying and what your personal brand is, but how you say it on social media, and what you say is where that personal brand actually lives.