I was having a little rummage around my podcast bag and came across a couple of posts that hit the nail on the head about something that has pissed me off for years.
Personal branding 2.Oh-no
Even when people say to me “that is so your brand Bernie”, I feel yucky. Maybe it is because they are pointing out the nerdy, awkward, and ego maniac traits of my character that I suddenly feel queasy.
So the first headline came from my mate Brian, who runs a small software company and said in this five-minute interview that personal branding is a euphemism for self-promotion.
Focus on doing the work and delivering value, then your brand will come.
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Then I was listening to Paul Jarvis talking about how to position yourself as a freelancer. Paul is wildly successful long-term freelancer and shares short, decent no-frills-or-pitch freelancing advice on his podcast here. Paul’s recommend is that being “your name” rather than a “company of we” when really it is only you. There is a bit more to this, so listen to the podcast episode here.
Being your name vs my company
So “we” there is an obsession with freelancers and consultants who want to appear bigger than they are, which in my bigshot freelancer opinion is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. This will connect beautifully with Simon Sinek shortly.
There is a strong case for having a company name registration that is not your name. If something horrific does happen, then being recorded forever as “your name Ltd” is a bit shit. Ask your accountant for specific advice on this. You do have an accountant, don’t you?
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I had to find a way to get this word into this personal branding blog, probably just for a keyword. Anyway, it is fucking exhausting pretending you have a team, a company, head office in Clerkenwell. Look at the bottom of emails you get and see how many companies have a head office in John St Farringdon.
Sinek suggests that the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.
So if both you and they believe that pretending to be something you are not is a good basis for a solid relationship, time to ask yourself a few questions.
I need the money
Ok let me give some context here before I slice your face off.
Looking at the stats to this blog and who is on our email newsletter. The community or audience around @Work Hubs do not fall into the “most vulnerable members of society section”. So take a big deep breath and “DON’T take work that does not feel right”! This is the best thing that you can do for your personal brand. In fact, let’s call it “personal value system”, as I feel ever so slightly less creepy writing that.
Did you say something about needing money?
I promise you that when you are working with people in line with your values, your flair, fun, and true convictions will start to show up without asking. Meeting deadlines and making things happen will be easier, and, because you are not spending ages “keeping up appearances” you will have more energy to do great work and get referred.
Collaboration and workshops
This is a huge part of what drives our obsession with collaboration here @Work Hubs, “working together” is a little deeper than it seems at first, which is the inspiration behind our monthly workshops here @Work Hubs. We started with “How to organise anything with Trello” and followed by Philip’s “Pitching and presentation” workshop in March and then Debbie’s values workshop after that.
If you want to come and be “told what to do” these probably won’t work for you. However, if you are up for making your head hurt a little bit and explore why you do what you do, then dive in. The workshops are included in @Work Hubs memberships and there is a small charge for non-members.
We are not trying to”’get everyone on the same page” by running these sessions. It is to get the community connected on their own terms.