Does Your Personal Brand Matter?
Does creating and maintaining your personal brand matter in the business world? Yes, it certainly does. Whether intentional or not, you and I are constantly sharing a story with the people around us. Friends and colleagues snap pictures, make comments, tag us in all sorts of social and work settings; that’s in addition to all that we personally and intentionally share about ourselves. In a day where people are willing to post almost anything to the Internet, and those images can be captured and allowed to spread like wildfire in social media, the projection of our personal brand is more important and yet more vulnerable than ever. The burning question, therefore, that needs to be thoughtfully asked and constructively answered is, “How is the story you are posting affecting your personal brand?”
What is your personal brand?
Personal Branding is a technique of consciously and purposefully marketing yourself and your career as a brand. It is a process of creating a prescribed image or impression that you want others to have of you.
Why should I worry about personal branding?
Regardless of whether you are aware of and monitoring what you or others are posting on the Internet, it is being made available to the Internet public at alarmingly quick rates. Your attention is required to protect the personal branding you would like to project. For example, a common practice when a company is hiring is to search the prospective applicants on a number of social media platforms. Your personal story is read and evaluated before the first interview question is even asked. Branding also happens when you have free time and you are just scrolling social media. Whether you are consciously thinking about it or not, you are taking in information, making judgments and creating “cookies” that can follow your brand. Anyone looking into your persona on the Internet can answer the questions, “Who is that person?” “What is important to them?” “Are they someone you can trust?” and perhaps more that are generally less desirable for complete strangers to know about you.
Why does this matter?
Think about a time when you had a business opportunity and you needed someone’s help or expert advice. Who would you first turn to or ask for their opinion? The first person to pop into your head is often the one that has developed somewhat of an expertise in their area of knowledge. They have developed their brand and you trust that you can depend on it for sound guidance. You have valued the characteristics you have associated with their personal brand. Your brand has the power to open doors.
Four Way To Increase your Brand awareness?
- Make sure the content you post or share to social media represents the characteristics and personality for which you want to be known.
- Interact with groups/people that have an influence in the spaces of which you want to be a part. Find “connectors,” or people that can help introduce you to others within that circle.
- Do your research on things that are trending in that social or business sphere. “Know your stuff.” There is nothing worse for your brand projection than the discovery that you are a fake. Remember that BOTH positive and negative impressions can hit social media very, very quickly.
- Have your own opinion on topics. You are intelligent, so share what you know.