Whether you have been actively working on your brand or simply find yourself interested in the idea of personal branding, 2020 should be the year you put your brand in focus. The employee-leveraged market may not be here forever, and you want to put yourself in a position of power. Your personal brand, after all, is one of your most valuable assets.
The great news is that there are many excellent books focused on personal branding that can give you the techniques, skills and inspiration you need to make 2020 the year of your brand. I'm constantly asked for personal branding advice and books I recommend for setting personal branding goals; people aren't sure what to do -- or, worse, what not to do.
Here are seven supercharged books that can provide some of the answers you're looking for.
This book by William Arruda, who many consider the father of personal branding, was recently released. It's the most up-to-date, forward-focused personal branding book out there. Much of Arruda's thought leadership on this topic is being used in learning programs at companies across the globe. Digital YOU is his third book on the subject, and this one zooms ahead of his previous books. It describes how your personal brand has moved online and what you need to do to build an authentic and compelling virtual brand to increase your success and happiness at work. Pay attention to the workplace trends he uses to anchor the book. Arruda is a motivational speaker, and a lot of the content from the book comes from the recurring questions he receives after delivering keynotes.
In this book, branding expert Dorie Clark provides a step-by-step process to help you identify your unique strengths, define a compelling personal brand and gain the recognition you deserve for the valuable contributions you make. Reinventing You is valuable for those who seek to advance faster right where they are; it's also helpful for those looking to move to another role or company. And it's relevant to those who want to leave the corporate world altogether and launch their own businesses. The focus is on helping readers build a strategy around work and career that's aligned with their unique passions and skills. Clark warns readers that achieving career success and satisfaction in today's competitive job market requires reinvention from time to time to ensure relevancy and forward movement. You can think of this book as a road map for the next phase of your career journey.
This book by Dan Schawbel has been on both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Promote Yourself is perfect for young professionals who want to build the necessary skills to manage their brand throughout their career. Schawbel was one of the early leaders in the field of personal branding and has focused a lot of his personal branding research and advice on Millennials. His guide convinces you of the importance of personal branding and walks you through the critical steps you need to take if you want to build a brand of distinction.
If you've read any of Wiley's Dummies books and like the consistent format and structure they provide, you'll really get into this book focused on personal branding. The author, Susan Chritton, is one of only dozens of Reach Master Certified Personal Branding Strategists. As with most of the Dummies books, its emphasis is less on theory and more on interactivity, making it a great resource for actually doing something about your personal brand. This book includes lots of exercises to help you learn about your brand, along with actionable tips you can test immediately.
This isn't a personal branding book, per se, but it's the best book out there for being able to tell your story -- one of the most important parts of personal branding. Author David Aaker is a pioneer of branding, having worked in the field for more than four decades. In this book, he shares the experience he's gained on the power of story. He explains that being able to tell your story in a human and compelling way is the key to getting recognized and acknowledged. He also explores how the most emotionally connective stories go viral -- helping expand your visibility to those beyond your current brand community. Reading this book will help you identify your signature stories and tell them in an authentic and magnetic way so you can increase your influence and impact.
Brendan Kane is a growth hacker for Fortune 500 corporations, brands and celebrities. His book helps readers answer this question: How can you make a significant impact in the digital world and stand out among all the noise? According to Kane, more than 60 billion online messages are sent on digital platforms every day, but only a select few succeed in the mad scramble for attention. He offers a solution to this challenge, sharing the expertise he gained in building digital platforms for personal, product and corporate brands, including Taylor Swift, Rihanna, MTV, Skechers and IKEA. This book will help you understand how to expand your online audience and boost engagement with your content.
This book asks, "Do you have a hobby you wish you could indulge in all day? An obsession that keeps you up at night?" The author then persuades you to take action now to turn your passion into a living. In Crush It!, Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the internet to turn your real interests into real businesses. Vaynerchuk uses himself as an example, showcasing the years he spent building his family business from a local wine shop into a national industry leader. By the end of the book, you'll have learned how to harness the power of the internet to build your personal brand and make your mark with your own business.
If you're looking to fuel your success this year, get some instant coaching via these books or check out other personal branding speakers. What you learn from the authors can turn aspiration into action and help you build a powerful personal brand.