Guest post by Dan Schawbel. Dan is the lead personal branding expert for Generation Y. He commands the world famous Personal Branding Blog, publishes Personal Branding Magazine, directs Personal Branding TV, and is the head judge for the 2008 Personal Brand Awards.
Never before has the web been such a friendly place. Web 2.0 has opened a gateway for individuals to come together, in unison and speak to each other using platforms such as blogs, Facebook and even Google talk. Those that used to be introverted, now have a safe place to express themselves and their point of view. They even have the privilege of networking with others who share similar insight, demographic or geographic.
Personal branding has paved the way for people to gain confidence in themselves and their abilities to deliver value, whether by expertise or content. Why take a job that you aren’t interested in and doesn’t fit who you are as a person? There’s no point, especially when you have tools ready and available to you to convey your passions, goals and subject matter knowledge.
A lot of this new direction comes from people’s comfort and freedom to express their appearance, competencies and personality. Personality can be clearly communicated through podcasting, either using YouTube, Google Video or hosting it on your own website. Either way, you can attract others to your brand by displaying the person behind the brand. The great part about the web now is that everyone has a voice, but still not everyone is treated equally. Those that have superior brand names, will get their email read faster, their articles published quicker and larger scale opportunities.
The good news is that anyone can achieve success by developing their brand. The bad news is that if you fail to bask in the greatness of web 2.0, you will lose your personal freedom and the ability to connect and reach hundreds of millions of people around the world. Whether you are 18 or 56, or black or white, you can all be a part of this growing community and develop your skills to match new job requirements that are spawning as we speak. Step out of your comfort zone and into a world where you can be recognized for YOU!