The Benefits of Building a Personal Brand

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Crush It!" by Gary Vaynerchuk. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Why is building a personal brand a good idea for anyone? What are the three top benefits of a personal brand?

According to social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk (a.k.a. Gary Vee), every business owner, employee, and aspiring entrepreneur should build a personal brand. The benefits range from boosting sales, to developing a following, to building a resume.

Here is Gary Vee’s advice for why you need a personal brand.

Why You Need a Personal Brand

Marketing and social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk argues that everyone needs to optimize their personal brand to stay relevant in the professional world, regardless of their industry or professional aspirations. A lively personal brand is mandatory because the internet has changed the business world, and it continues to alter the landscape of virtually every industry. 

(Shortform note: Business consultant Tom Peters coined the term “personal brand” in 1997, more than a decade before this book’s publication. However, while Vaynerchuk uses the term to refer to your digital presence, Peters wrote about personal branding in the workplace. He argued that workers’ brands—essentially, their professional reputations—must project their unique value as “free agents,” independent of their job title.)

According to Vaynerchuk, building a personal brand has benefits for everyone:

  • If you’re a business owner, use a personal brand to boost your company’s success. (Shortform note: Businesses benefited from their leaders’ personal brands even before the rise of social media—think of Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Donald Trump.) 
  • If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, use your brand to turn your passion into a flourishing business. If your brand develops a lively following, you’ll have opportunities to monetize (more on that later). (Shortform note: As an entrepreneur, your personal brand builds your credibility and serves as another form of networking.) 
  • If you’re an employee, your personal brand is like your living resume and an ongoing job interview. Everything you post online reflects your knowledge, experience, and personality—the same traits that hiring managers try to glean from job applications and interviews. (Shortform note: While research has confirmed that effective personal branding can benefit your career, proud social media abstainer Cal Newport argues that using social media ultimately does more professional harm than good. Newport—who writes about minimizing social media in Deep Work and Digital Minimalism—writes that social media use lowers our ability to concentrate on demanding tasks, which is increasingly crucial in the modern economy.)
The Benefits of Building a Personal Brand

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Gary Vaynerchuk's "Crush It!" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full Crush It! summary :

  • Step-by-step instructions for building and monetizing a personal brand
  • How to quit your day job and earn a living off your brand
  • Why a few loyal followers are better than a crowd of passive subscribers

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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