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VINE VOICEon September 29, 2007
If you are looking for a book to enhance your career, this book should be in your list. It says, flatly, that being good and skilled in your job is insufficient in getting head. It is actually more important to be perceived and noticed as a person of excellence.

It should be noted that the author already assumes you have some marketable skills. Without it, you don't have anything to build a brand around. "If you don't stand for something relevant to the marketplace, you have no value", states the author.

Influencing how others perceive you and your ideas starts with a building a brand. One must brainstorm one's strengths and how one's strengths align with the market (or employer) values. Then one should focus on one's strengths and highlight its relevance in the marketplace in a emotionally connecting way.

Branding is executed primarily through visual (good attire, personal appearance, body language) and verbal (communication through effective rhetoric and tone). The book also highlights the paramount importance of gettting noticed by the right people. If you are not invited to the right meetings, author notes, you are dead in the water (of real career progression).

Overall, I felt this book contained as much good career advice as any I have read. I highly recommend it.
7 people found this helpful
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on October 14, 2006
Branding is a process of differentiating a product (you, in this case) from the competition. It's about perception and creation of positive attitudes in the minds of other people. Catherine Kaputa aims to do just that in this book - to help you define and differentiate yourself as a 'brand'. This book is not a recipe for success, rather, it is a call to action with dozens of great tips to help you get started.

The book contains a number of interesting insights, but personally, I found the "Brainstormers" to be the most useful for my own development. Throughout the book you are confronted with questions which you need to (and should) answer and fill in. While a little daunting at first, these have proven to be extremely helpful. I found myself going back, adjusting, and tweaking my answers repeatedly as I learned new tips or simply stumbled across new ideas. Now, reviewing my own work, I realize how far I've come along in trying to define my own strengths, preferences and areas for improvement.

I would give this book 5 out of 5, if it wasn't for one weakness - at times I was left wanting for that 'key insight' as Katherine steered deep into business and marketing ideas without clearly tying them back to the concept of 'personal brand'. Otherwise, this is a great book, well worth your time and money. Just remember, the value of it will be proportional to how you approach it - branding is about action and taking control of your future.
4 people found this helpful
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on November 9, 2011
Whether you are an employee or own your own business, you will find this book helpful. The author has a writing style that is clear and conversational. The summary of major points appears at the end of each chapter helps reinforce what you have read. This is a great book is well formatted for reading on a Kindle.
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on February 6, 2009
This self-branding guide really dials up the concept of Authenticity. It discusses the importance of being you. Don't copy others or you'll always be a B player. Good insight as many of us are tempted to `borrow' a self-brand from another we admire, or who is more successful than we are. The mantra here is to celebrate your uniqueness and make it a differentiating factor in your self-brand.
The author also delves into the concept of packaging your brand. This goes way beyond the idea of `dress for success.' It details all the facets of self presentation that need to be considered as you build your self-brand...fascinating and actionable material.
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on July 8, 2008
I really enjoyed reading this book--it was filled with examples which made it easy to read. The author does an excellent job of showing the importance of knowing your unique promise of value for business success. Branding is about being your authentic self and making sure that the image you want to exude is how you are perceived by others. Knowing your strengths and your unique value of promise is indeed what sets you apart from your competition whether you are climbing the corporate ladder, career seeking, small business owner, etc.
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on June 26, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed You Are A Brand. It's been a long time since I've marked up, reviewed and reread my notes as I have done with this book. As a career coach, I now recommend this to all my clients and have used the "pearls" I have learned to create my own personal brand. One of the best "business" books I've read in years. I loved the use of stories to demonstrate the value of personal branding.
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on November 5, 2012
For a shy person like myself, this was a timely reminder that I should not just work hard, but also sell myself smart by self-branding. Immensely helpful book on an oft ignored topic. Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Lama, and others have used self branding to the max to achieve greater good. Read the book and benefit from it.
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on March 24, 2007
This books is excellent. It points out what we should all know but don't pay attention to -- that people are making decisions about us and we need to control our branding. It's easy to read and provides real life examples.
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on January 7, 2013
In this book, Catherine Kaputa was able to illustrate a wide range of points related to personal branding in "why" and "how" manner.
What I found the most valuable was how she applies the lessons to both entrepreneurs, building and managing the self-brand related to their business/service/product, as well as people working for someone else. Career development takes many of us through all sorts of employment scenarios. I believe that the examples in this book make us feel more confident about our ability to create and evolve a self-brand on authenticity, differences from others, uniqueness of our experiences, and changing needs of the markets around.

Here are my favorite parts:
A lot of competition means there is a demand and they'll also create buzz for you about the area/field you work in. - that shattered my fear of competition
The only way to predict the future is to create it. - with a self-brand strategy I have the power to change the reality instead of just reacting to it
What's the point of communication if you don't have an impact? - intention behind our communication with others is a crucial part of a self-brand strategy
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on September 26, 2012
You Are a Brand is great no matter where you are in your career. In this economy, I want to make myself indispensable at work, and this book is full of flexible, insightful advice about recognizing what makes you unique and how to capitalize on it. Kaputa has many exercises and examples to help pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses, and the result is very genuine and can be applied to many careers. She covers job interviews and how to make a great first impression while relying on your own personality and what sets you apart. Later on there is a big section on public speaking strategies with advice on how to make your talks memorable and effective. Sections like this tie together very effectively so that you feel you can really grow with the advice presented in the book.

Kaputa refers to her creative background in the book's opening, and it definitely shows in way she encourages the reader to examine themselves. This book helps you develop an honest evaluation of what makes you unique, and come up with a strong brand that will get you noticed. I especially appreciated her advice on Visual Identity and the way to "sell" your image. It covers the many angles that go into creating a powerful self image without being catty about having the "wrong" look or sounding too trendy. I try and look through this section for extra tips whenever I have a presentation or meeting coming up. Very helpful!
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