Stop thinking Personal Branding is about YOU…

… it’s about them !

I recently gave a Personal Branding workshop to a group of IT consultants, employees of a great IT consultancy company. Woohoo.
I was kind of nervous, I admit.

Did you know …

…that I started my career in IT ? (now I hear you thinking: “really? Noooo you’re lying!”) Well no I’m not lying. I can hardly believe it myself but I started my professional career as an analyst-programmer with CSC. What a job that was ! Didn’t know anything about IT. NOTHING!

Ok, I knew a or two things about Turbo Pacal (huh??) and WordPerfect 5.1 (huh??) – now you know how ancient I am ;-). But MS Word (mmmm, not really, I read about it), MS Excel (yes, we had a written course about it, but have never seen it in real life), MS Access (are you kidding me?), MS Outlook (??) whatever, I was a complete IT nitwit …

Anyway, I must have branded myself very well back then, because I was hired on the spot. I swear! And what was even more surprising, I was labeled “high potential”. Now how’s that for Personal Branding?! I challenge you 🙂

But honestly, this is probably not a good example of Personal Branding, because Personal Branding starts with YOU and your Mastery. Only then comes the packaging. Because, as I’ve said many times before: “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it stays a pig!”. And I was not an IT master, I can tell you that!

Ok, back to my IT consultants.

So, even though I started my career in IT and have worked in several IT companies, I still was a little nervous to face this IT gang. Would they really be interested in Personal Branding and Elevator Pitches?

Much to my amusement I got answers like “I’m a BI consultant with 10 years’ experience in SAP BI, BW and BO” when we had the introduction round. It was clear there was room for improvement as to Elevator Pitches.

Why Personal Branding?

With regards to my question “Why Personal Branding?” I got answers like:

  • Personal Branding is for braggers
  • Personal Branding is about selling yourself
  • I do not believe in Personal Branding, it’s for sales people who want to sell something, not for us
  • I don’t need to brand myself…

My answer to that:

“Stop thinking Personal Branding is about you! it’s about them”.


Them, is your potential client, them is your boss, them is your colleague, them is the headhunter, them is your future boss….

If you want to be and stay memorable to those people, you do not need to brag, you do not need to be salesy. You need to be yourself in an authentic way and help “them”.


  • Help your potential client solve his problems
  • Help your boss make a good impression to his boss
  • Help your colleague with his challenges so he can grow in his career
  • Help the headhunter find that perfect candidate for the vacancy
  • Help your future boss achieve results …

It’s all about helping and giving. Give Give Give. That’s the best way to build your Personal Brand.

So again, stop thinking it’s all about you. Thank you! 🙂

And this being said I’d like to THANK YOU for reading my blog posts, for sharing your ideas, for supporting me, for being severe sometimes, for being YOU.

Oh, and as for my IT consultants… they were great and their elevator pitches at the end of the workshop were even greater!!

Well done, guys!! 🙂

Big hug

PS: do you have any thoughts about why Personal Branding is important? Tell me! 

7 thoughts on “Stop thinking Personal Branding is about YOU…”

  1. Wow, Greet, dat heb je mooi verwoord. Er rust vaak een taboe op personal branding, er wordt inderdaad uitgegaan dat je dan een uitslover bent. Ik merk het ook bij één van mijn doelgroepen: coaches en therapeuten in de alternatieve gezondheidszorg. Zij vinden het ook een vies woord. Werk aan de winkel dus.
    Ik hoop dat je weer veel mensen inspireert met je voorbeelden. Groetjes uit Amsterdam, Brenda

    1. thanks Brenda – wij zullen beiden de richting naar authentieke, eerlijke personal branding uitstippelen, ben er zeker van dat we zo heel erg veel mensen gaan kunnen verder helpen en daar doen we het toch ook voor he.

  2. OK. Ik reageer eigenlijk helemaal nooit 🙂 maar deze is te treffend. Ik ben nl mijn carrière OOK in IT begonnen en… wist precies nog minder dan jij. Maar ik kon dus duidelijk wel mezelf goed verkopen zonder het te weten (had dan ook nog een diploma Germaanse Talen :-))

    Leuk te zien hoe je Personal Branding op de kaart zet! er is nog werk aan de winkel !

    1. Thanks Petra! Grappig dat er zoveel gelijkenissen zijn. Vind ik leuk. Great minds think alike 🙂

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