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POST WRITTEN BY

Emily Lyons

Award-winning serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Femme Fatale MediaGroup Inc, a North American event staffing and marketing agency.

Personal branding is all the rage these days. Anyone with a smartphone can — in theory, at least — build a personal brand and become a YouTube star or Instagram famous. And a slew of self-help books in the last decades — all pushing this idea of personal branding — has only added more oxygen to this burning interest in the art of branding oneself (whether online or off).

According to one source, personal branding is defined as “a planned process in which people make efforts to market themselves.” What really touched off the notion of personal branding was a 1997 article in Fast Company titled “The Brand Called You.” Written by Tom Peters, an extraordinarily accomplished business thinker and author, this article (more of a manifesto, really) made a compelling case for developing, well, the brand called you.

“It’s time to give some serious thought and even more serious effort to imagining and developing yourself as a brand,” wrote Peters. According to the author — and other leaders in this space — you should work on your own brand because it helps you stand out in the job market. Personal branding, in short, is touted as a powerful ally in your quest for more explosive career advancement.

This power of personal branding is something I absolutely believe in. I have to, after all, because I’ve witnessed it firsthand in my own life. However, less attention is paid to another aspect of personal branding, and one that is incredibly useful in business.

What am I referring to here? It’s this: how an executive’s personal brand can be a major force that works in favor of that executive’s company.

Personal branding, in the case of the executive, isn’t just an individual imperative but also a smart business tactic. The strong personal brand of an executive can be successfully leveraged to benefit the company as a whole in real, tangible ways.

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