As a personal branding expert, I'm often asked what it takes to build an effective brand. Specifically, many people wonder if it is something that they can do by themselves, or if they need expert guidance. My answer to this question is yes ... it is possible to do it by yourself. You don't need a coach. But I mean this in the same way that you don't need an accountant to do your business taxes, or that you don't need a lawyer to draw up a seven figure contract. You can build a brand without a coach, but it's not going to be efficient, and in many cases it is not going to be successful. Below are three major reasons to seek out a coach when it comes to building your personal brand:
1) Personal branding requires knowledge not found in books. Sure, you can learn the basics of branding through Google or through a textbook. But there is a difference between what works in theory, and what works in the real world. An experienced coach knows what works and what doesn't, and will save you many setbacks along the way. Do you want to learn the hard way, or do you want to learn from someone who has already learned the hard way?
2) Personal branding requires an outside perspective. By definition, personal branding relates to the way others see you. It's not about how you see yourself. A coach will be able to give you honest and realistic feedback that you can't possibly discover on your own.
3) Personal branding requires consistency and discipline. If building a brand was something that you could do in a week, you wouldn't need a coach. But it's not something that you can ever finish. As soon as you stop building your brand, or as soon as you stray off course, the brand begins to weaken. Building your brand requires work on a regular basis--and a coach will keep you focused and on task. Without a coach, most business owners give up within a couple of weeks.
If you are serious about building your personal brand, the first step is to find a coach that will keep you focused, motivated, and on course. If you're ready to make that commitment, I'd love to have a conversation--feel free to get in touch!
JW Dicks (@jwdicks ) & Nick Nanton  (@nicknanton ) are best-selling authors that consult for small- and medium-sized businesses on how to build their business through Personality Driven Marketing, Personal Brand Positioning, Guaranteed Media, and Mining Hidden Business Assets. They offer free articles, white papers, and case studies at their Web site . Jack and Nick have been featured inThe New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, FastCompany.com, and many more media outlets.