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There’s no such thing as a personal brand – by Bill Boorman

I’ve been mulling over your recent comments that there is only one brand: Forget employer brand or any other branch of branding, it is really all just the company brand looked at through different eyes and presented in a different wrapper.

Breaking this down further, I’ve been looking a lot at the difference between corporate and personal brand. It started with a request that I received for details of any corporate blogs I read. I responded “I don’t read corporate blogs.” That answer got me thinking.

About a month ago I compiled a list of the 140 HR and recruiting blogs I read (you can find the list here http://recruitingunblog.wordpress.com/category/blogs-i-read/ ).. Reviewing this list, most are written by individuals and reflect plenty of personality. Of the 140, 120 contain some kind of tab that says “Work with me” or similar. It is one of the motives for blogging and justifies the time spent in the activity. In my book, if your selling something on your blog or through your social media postings, it’s corporate branding.

It seems to be called “Corporate” is as big an insult as calling someone a “Guru”. I think this stems from confusing “Corporate” with “Corporation.” It doesn’t have to be big business, it can be a company of one, but any link makes it corporate.

As for personal brand, if everyone’s corporate can that really exist? Certainly, social media activists understand that progress only comes by mixing the business talk with plenty of personal messages. If your just posting ad’s and press releases then you are not going to get very far. Only by building relationships based on shared interest will the relationship ever develop in to a professional one.

For this reason, those contributors that are corporate but show a personal face and character could more accurately be described as a “personality brand!”

Now this might seem like semantics, but isn’t clear definition what branding is all about?

About the author:

Bill Boorman (@BillBoorman on twitter) is best known to readers of this blog as the founder of the recruiting Unconference TruLondon and as a commentator on recruiting and social media.  He has been described as a twitterholic that never sleeps, omnipresent and even a whirling dervish! You can find Bill’s blog at http://recruitingunblog.wordpress.com

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