Personal branding -- what is it and why does it matter?
Personal branding is the practice of marketing yourself or your career as a brand. To help, think of a well-known celebrity or thought leader -- what image comes to mind? I am betting it's safe to say the impression you have of them is something that came from the image they portrayed on social media. The pictures they post, the copy they craft -- this is their personal brand.
These days, personal branding absolutely matters and not just for the Kardashians. Personal branding is especially important when it comes to your business. Having a personal brand that is shared with your company is becoming a requirement. Employers looking to elevate their brand know that their employees are an asset when it comes to promoting their message. This is because people trust their friends more than a brand.
In fact, when a brand message is shared by an employee on social media, they get 561 percent more reach than the same messages shared by the brand’s own social media presence. Your personal brand and those of your employees are vital to your revenue growth.
Have you thought about how your company is utilizing your employees as brand ambassadors? If you're feeling like you don't really have this part of your marketing strategy built out, take some time to address the situation.
The following three concepts will help guide you and your employees develop a personal brand.
1) Ask yourself what you value.
Values can help in defining you. I value my kids, nature, and being creative. What I share in conversation revolves around these three topics. I often find ways to throw in a past experience I had that included these values.
But that's not all.
2) What are your passions?
What do you like doing with your time? If you're not sure what your passions are, ask yourself in a different way; when browsing on the internet aside from your time spent on social media, what do you find yourself looking at? The newest road racing cycles? Organic gardening? Under water basket weaving (just kidding)?
3) What personality traits do you deem as ideal?
This is possibly the most difficult part of the equation because this is what will act as your moral compass -- guiding you to not only an effective personal brand, but most importantly an authentic one. Are you agreeable? Open-minded? Fun-loving?
OK, now put together your values, your passions, and your ideal personality traits and what do you get?
What image comes to mind? What words would you use to describe yourself? Share these with your friends and family to see if they view you in the same way. If they view you in a different light, don't worry -- you have the power to change this.
Now that you have developed your personal brand, it will be important to spend some time integrating this with your company's overall brand message.
Here's a road map to help you do just that:
- Start by taking your and your employee's personal brand online. Create a social media presence that allows your employees to share something interesting about your company. This is pure gold. Don't forget to engage with others that are seen as industry leaders. Doing so will give you a lot of mileage.
- Try bettering your company's site. If you don't already have an 'About Us' page, you should create one. Make sure the description is engaging and easy to understand.
- Build out your personal brand by becoming a thought leader in your industry. Start writing articles and blogs to reinforce this. Try signing up for speaking engagements and interviews.
Now you have the tools to both create and integrate your personal brand. Just by understanding the importance of having a personal brand and how to implement it, you have taken the first steps in your journey towards propelling your business even further and your bottom line even greater. Be patient with the process but above all, and this should be the undercurrent of everything you do with your brand--be authentic. Your consumer is looking to your personal brand for credibility. You lose that and your potential for new business when you try to be something you are not.
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