What is the easiest way to build a personal brand? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Tom Peters, author of The Excellence Dividend, on Quora:

What's the easiest way to build a personal brand? Show up to work on time. Being an effective personal brand, for starters, and I hate to be so boring, or to sound like your mother or father, but the essence is great work habits.

What it means is that you are an incredibly reliable person, and being a reliable person is the most important thing imaginable for your brand.

Another thing that is implied by that is that being a personal brand is NOT NOT NOT about showing off. It's about people understanding the terrific traits that you have that make them want to be around you.

You have to be an incredible student so that you are exceptionally good at something (damn near anything) that is of value.

The reason that I started my answer the way I did is that people tend to think that building a personal brand is about being or becoming the smartest person in the room. Nothing could be more inaccurate.

Yes, you have to study and learn, and be good at what you do. But good personal brand people are humble, not aggressive. There is that old term "suck up," as in "suck up to your boss." My way of describing a personal brand is "suck sideways." That is, personal brands are as good as their reputations with their teammates, and anyone, in fact, that they work with. A personal brand does NOT have to sell himself or herself. A personal brand has people in their network BEGGING them to be part of the next project.

Most of you who are reading this are probably not electricians or plumbers, but I'm going to talk you about electricians and plumbers anyway. An electrician or plumber can be within her or his community a fabulous brand. I'm going to give you a quick list from my book that describes an electrician that stands so far out that the phone is always ringing from people who are begging him or her to do the job.

The local plumber or electrician really stands out IF...

IF she or he knows the job.

IF she or he is learning new tricks all the time.

IF she or he has a good disposition.

IF she or he shows up on time.

IF she or he is neatly dressed.

IF she or he has a spiffy truck.

IF she or he fixes the problem in an elegant fashion and clearly explains what was done and why it was done in this way or that.

IF she or he cleans up so that after the fact the client could "eat off the job site floor."

IF she or he volunteers to do a few tiny tasks outside the one at hand, gratis.

IF she or he calls (calls not emails) 24 hours later to make sure all is well.

IF she or he creates a blog with occasional posts featuring practical tips for his or her clientele. For example, a tiny Virginia swimming pool company became "best in world" following such a social media strategy.

An electrician or plumber can become an incredible personal brand--and so can you.

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Published on: Apr 12, 2018