By Paul Copcutt
Wondering if you should read “that” book? A seasoned personal brand strategist offers his in depth reviews.
A Decade (and more) of Personal Brand Books My whole interest in the subject of personal branding started with reading Tom Peters’ book The Brand You 50 in 1999, since then I have avidly collected and read many others – some great, some good and some questionable!
I dipped into my collection and picked one book printed each year since Tom Peters’ book and gave a brief viewpoint. Going forward my collection may well include a few Kindle versions, but in the meantime I loved picking these ones up and skimming back through them, some for the umpteenth time.
- Branding Yourself – Erik Deckers & Kyle Lacy – 2011 – The latest book with a strong emphasis in the area of building the personal brand by leveraging technology and social media, with a few final chapters on offline activity.
- Shift – Peter Arnell – 2010 – An ad man that had to make significant personal shifts to survive making this more of a personal journey.
- Me 2.0 – Dan Schwabel – 2009 – As the title suggests the emphasis here is communicating the personal brand online and looking at personal branding very much from the perspective of the younger, ‘wired’ generations.
- Managing Brand You – Jerry S Wilson & Ira Blumenthal – 2008 – A Fortune 500 executive is one of the authors, the other, a brand consultant, so the book transposes many product brand approaches to the personal brand.
- Career Distinction – William Arruda & Kirsten Dixson – 2007 – The culmination of the first half a decade of his work with Reach, in collaboration with another early personal brand adopter and coupled with many examples from the Reach community.
- Soaring on Your Strengths – Robin Ryan – 2006 – Written from the career coaches perspective this book has some good suggestions and actual examples of its use with career marketing documents.
- UR A Brand – Catherine Kaputa – 2005 – Some good tie ins between corporate/product branding and personal brand. Some good exercises to complete and part of the author’s personal brand comes through in the use of Shakespere quotes throughout the book.
- Career Warfare – David D’Alessandro – 2004 – there is a very shortlist of books on personal branding written for the corporate market, this is the best there currently is and written by someone who made it all the way to the top of a Fortune 500.
- The Brand Called You – Peter Montoya with Tim Vandehey – 2003 – One of the better books on personal branding for service based businesses. Written with the small business owner in mind, comprehensive steps and ideas.
- Be Your Own Brand – David McNally & Karl D Speak – 2002 – One of the first books to make the connection between personal brand and employer brand. Some interesting templates to help form the basic foundation of your brand.
- Build Your Own Life Brand – Stedman Graham – 2001 – Most famous for being Oprah’s partner, this is a good basic read that connects the dots between personal brand at work and elsewhere, after all it’s not just about work.
- Make A Name For Yourself – Robin Fisher Roffer – 2000 – Probably one I would continue to place in my top 10 of personal branding books and one of the few directly aimed at women. A good read with a well thought out process.
- The Brand You 50 – Tom Peters – 1999 – This book still has plenty of relevant ideas and tips, particularly for those caught up in doing too much online. THE book that started it all, following on from his Fast Company magazine article, the inspiration for the forming of Reach!
I’m looking forward to the next decade of books on personal branding and seeing how the industry and the subject evolves.
Paul Copcutt, Personal Brand Architect, is a sought after speaker and coach who uses real client stories and practical applications to help successful professionals and executives get clear about their uniqueness.