While most personal branding experts are advocating personal branding through self-promotion and online marketing, not much have been covered in terms of Passive Branding, which is a technique more suited for introverts who prefer a more “toned down” approach. Personal branding is a novel idea that may well work in the coming years but being assertive and gregarious is an exclusive domain for the extroverted and a frightful realm for the shy and the introverted.
This is where Passive Branding comes in.
Passive branding strategically utilises the essence of personal branding but turns the approach inside out or rather, upside down. Individuals who are engaged in Passive Branding do not take the initiative to promote themselves. They express and showcase their talents to people in their lives who are within their reach (which includes their family members, loved ones, colleagues and friends), build up their talent portfolios online (through blogs, Facebook and Twitter) over time and – here comes the most interesting aspect – wait to be approached.
Most of the time, we are often expected to be proactive:
“Go promote your abilities and talents to others.”
“If you are not in sight, you are out of sight.”
” Out of sight, out of mind.”
On the surface, all the abovementioned advice seem rather true. After all, how can we be known if we don’t actively promote ourselves? But think about this. Out of the hundreds of resumes that a job candidate sends out, how many of these applications actually secured them an interview? Five maybe? And if one is lucky, Ten? Fifteen? This is also the reason why job applications have always been considered as a numbers game. We can personalise our resumes to the jobs. We can be creative and create online resumes. We can even call organisations by phone, promote ourselves and request for job interviews.
But what credence does one have when pitted against those who have taken much time to develop their strengths quietly, bid their time and get approached by others based on peer recommendations and solid work portfolios? These individuals merely develop their abilities and talents through their daily interactions with work, communication and life, showcase their skills when the situations call for them, take things slow and create/ seize opportunities within their abilities when they appear.
Personal Branding has its strengths but Passive Branding may not pale in comparison when compared with Personal Branding. In fact, Passive Branding may have an edge of its own – a person engaged in Passive Branding understands the importance of patience and more importantly, they understand that most of the time, success comes not only from seizing opportunities but more significantly, from waiting.
But how many of us are humbly waiting for the right opportunities instead of grasping at every fleeting moment of self-promotion?