Personal Branding, Ego Boosting & Ego Bruising

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Personal branding is for serving the target audience of one’s profession or business, in a competitive landscape, for desired ROI. It’s both a constant balancing act and a forever journey, says Joanne Z. Tan, a global brand strategist and branding expert.


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By accident I saw this on Facebook:

“Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered. — Wes Angelozzi”

But what this quote does not say is that the greatest, truest version of oneself is forever a work in progress, resulting from constantly and relentlessly tweaking the best fit between one’s brand – be it a personal brand, a professional brand, or a business brand – with the reality of the world.

Nonetheless, this quote summarizes why I love what I do: To help people be seen and appreciated in their own essence (I call it “decoding brand DNA”), and succeed in their businesses.  After helping them uncover and own their brand essence (in my lingo, “unique value propositions”) I feel fulfilled and energized when I leave each person more empowered with personal branding, LinkedIn branding, business brand-building and brand marketing.

A personal brand’s value and relevancy are always in the perceptions of oneself and others

My brand-building process also involves deep analysis of brand value and positioning in relation to those they serve, and their competitive landscape.

Personal branding is not about illusory self-aggrandizing, since illusion leads to disillusion when one’s own views of one’s value propositions are disconnected from what your customers and your market want. 

Neither is personal branding related to ego boosting: when one’s inflated belief about oneself is not correlated to reality, ego boosting will end up with ego bruising. BTW, those with fragile egos often seek ego boosting, consciously or unconsciously, and inevitably end up with ego bruising. It is a cycle when the root cause is not addressed.

Personal branding is not psychotherapy either, even though the info-collecting part may have certain resemblances.

A brand’s value and relevancy are always in the perceptions of oneself and others. There is always a practical purpose behind personal branding, professional branding, LinkedIn branding, or business branding, whether the objectives are for client acquisition, status, influence, money, power, glamor, affection, legacy, etc.

A brand is established and continuously advanced by serving a target audience in return for compensation by that target audience in your marketplace, or other forms of your desired ROI. 

A brand is always in relationship to three things: 

-Yourself — your brand DNA, your core values, beliefs, what you stand for;

– Those you serve (and who feed you in return) — they are the “target audience”, most of the time;

– Your competitors or peers, your industry or marketplace — how your brand is differentiated from your competitors, and where it stands in your industry, and where you want it to be.

Unfortunately, the word “personal branding” is often misconstrued as superficial look and feel, or a PR campaign, or as a once-and-done thing.  Your brand cannot go far if you view your brand building as such, rather than as a continuous journey.

Personal branding is always a balancing act & a forever-journey of learning, unlearning, adopting

Some of our long term clients, after meticulously and thoroughly decoding their brand DNA using 10 Plus Brand’s proprietary process, continue their partnership with us, to further grow their brands with thought-leading strategies and content. We continue to help them respond to the changing needs of their market while adhering to the essence of their unique brands.

Occasionally, I find myself giving my clients a healthy dose of reality, even telling them what they don’t want to hear, which they may find “ego-bruising”, whenever their perceptions deviate from the needs of their target audience. As their brand consultant and coach, it is my job to help let reality set in when they are carried away with their own beliefs. 

One must not let one’s ego get in the way when constantly adjusting and readjusting the fit between unique value propositions and target audience’s needs — both evolve over time. 

As such, personal branding is always a balancing act, and a forever-journey of learning, unlearning, adopting new perspectives to be in sync with — even lead — one’s market space.  That’s where we at 10 Plus Brand fill in our roles as both detached and caring brand coaches, to give objective market perspectives, advise on brand building strategies and deliver results that advance our clients’ personal and business brands.

© Joanne Z. Tan  All rights reserved.

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