Personal Branding is Important, but Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

I was listening to an interactive webinar last Friday.  People submitted questions via a chat box and the host responded.  This topic was job search.  One person asked a question that went something like this, “I’ve heard that supply chain consultants are in big demand.  How can I brand myself as a supply chain consultant?”

The host went into a discussion about personal branding.  She did a very good job of it.  However, I worried that she might have been missing the bigger point.  Had I been running that webinar (and I do a lot of these types of webinars) I would have responded by asking the person who submitted the question to tell me about his experience in supply chain.

My reasoning here is simple.  Trying to brand yourself as a consultant in field requires that you bring some credibility.  Merely branding yourself is not enough.  You need the chops to back up your claim.  I knew that I wanted to be an organization development consultant by the time I was 25 years old.  I didn’t start my consulting business until I was 38,  I spent the 13 years in between learning the field and getting the experience I needed to become a successful consultant.  I went to school at night to get a Masters degree.  I took two jobs in the organization field.  I went back to school to get a PhD and took another job as an internal OD consultant.  When the time came I was prepared.  I was an expert in my field.

The person who asked the question in the webinar may well have been the biggest supply chain expert in the western hemisphere, but from the tone of the discussion that followed, I gathered he was not.  He was putting the cart before the horse.  He wanted to brand himself as a supply chain consultant because he heard that it is an occupation currently in demand.

That’s a problem.  Even if he does a great job of branding himself as a supply chain consultant, if he doesn’t have the skills and experience to deliver, he won’t last long.

On the other hand, if he is the best supply chain consultant in the world and doesn’t do a good job of branding himself, he won’t succeed either. This article does a good job of telling you how you can brand yourself as an expert in your field.  Check it out…

So, while you don’t want to put the cart before the horse and brand yourself as something you really aren’t, you also need to do a good job of branding yourself as an expert in your field.  But remember develop your skills and get the experience you need before you embark on branding yourself.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.


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