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How You Give Back Provides Purpose to Your Personal Brand

How You Give Back Provides Purpose to Your Personal Brand
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The following is the 13th in the series, "Personal Branding For A Better Life," in which marketing expert Jim Joseph applies big brand marketing lessons to help you build a successful personal brand.

If I can be accused of anything in this series, it could be that I appear a bit self centered. The hyper focus on personal branding can make it seem like it’s just all about you and what you want and need and how are going to do to get it.

That is indeed partially true. Personal branding is about self focus, self reflection and self actualization.

But it’s also about being a part of a larger team, as we mentioned in the last post. Doing for others as they do for you is a core part of who you are as a person.

Related: The People in Your Life Are Your Personal Brand Team

There’s another dimension to personal branding that is even more important. While personal branding is self centered, it’s also about figuring out ways that you can give back.

It’s about having a purpose to your brand. Giving back to those in need -- in your community, around the world, to the next generation or whatever fits your brand.

This isn’t just about charity -- it’s about giving back in a way that suits your personal brand. It’s about putting a purpose into your brand so that you stand for something more than just yourself.

This is about making your mark, not just having personal success. It’s about doing good for those around you.

Related: 4 Ways to Tell If Your Personal Brand Is in Danger

This should not be an afterthought once you’ve achieved your goals. Having a brand purpose should be a natural extension of your brand definition and a definitive part of your brand as you progress through life. You need to bake it into how you carry yourself and weave it into your plans.

Part of my brand purpose is to support the next generation of marketers. That is why I teach and write so much; it’s my way of giving back and it’s woven into the very fiber of my daily life. It’s been an evolving part of my own personal brand definition as I have grown through the years. I do it because I had amazing mentors early in my career, so I want to make sure those coming into our field have access to those who have come before them.

But that’s me and my personal brand.

Think about how you can add purpose to your personal brand. Create a way to give back. Find a way to make your mark, and make it a part of your plans … you’ll find it brings rewards you never thought possible.

Related: Why Reputation Management Is Critical to Your Personal Brand

The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.

Jim Joseph is the North American president of New York-based communications agency Cohn & Wolfe, part of the media company WPP Group PLC. He is the author of three books, including the latest, The Personal Experience Effect (Happy About 2013). Joseph also teaches marketing at New York University and blogs at JimJosephExp.com.

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