I got a chance to catch one of Gary Vaynerchuk’s speaking engagements as he’s out on the road promoting his new book, Crush It! As he normally does, Gary took questions from the audience and someone posed an interesting question about one of knocks on him: he’s a selfish self-promoter.
Gary met the question head on and said something along the lines of “I gotta sell. I put too much work into this book not to get out there and sell it.” He made no apologies for building his personal brand. At that point, I got it. There’s a big difference between “self-promoting” and “building a personal brand”.
“Self-promoting” is bragging in a way that undermines the greater good of your team or company.
Building your “personal brand” is building your reputation, showcasing your work and networking. Anyone who is interested in building their career and reaching for new goals should be building their personal brand. And there isn’t anything wrong about that.