How to Build Your Personal Brand Without Acting Insufferable

Self-promotion isn't easy and isn't always comfortable. If you're worried about coming across as arrogant when building your personal brand, take steps to ensure your actions aren't totally self-serving.


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Big Think expert Dorie Clark is a big proponent of building your personal brand while simultaneously avoiding being a total jerk about it. 

According to Clark, there are several key things to remember in order to ensure that your brand-building isn't completely self-serving. Sure, it's important to frame yourself in the best way possible. But you're also submitting personal facts and figures to augment others' understanding of your skills and capabilities. By composing an accurate and thorough resume or CV, you're offering employers and teammates a tool by which they can analyze your skills and needs.

Here's a basic summary of Clark's advice:

"The first step is understanding the true value of self-promotion...

The next step is to focus on facts, not interpretation...

It’s important to demonstrate your expertise with stories, not words...

You’ll also want to ensure that those stories are relevant...

Finally, even when you’re promoting yourself, it’s essential to express humility."

"Often, people shy away from self-promotion for fear that they’ll alienate their colleagues and develop a reputation as a braggart. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, personal branding can benefit you and your company by helping others understand where you excel, and ensuring that your talents are put to use in the best way possible."

The gist: You should focus your self-promotion in a way that assists others in addition to yourself. Do this by building off concrete accomplishments and accolades without adding any embellishments or subjective titles (for example, Clark hates it when people anoint themselves "social media experts"). Take a look at Clark's full piece (linked at the bottom) and let us know what you think.

Below, Clark paints a portrait of "thought leadership" and explains how anyone can work to becoming a thought leader in their particular sector:

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