Why a Personal Brand Is Important in Today’s Competitive World
Whether you know it or not, you have a personal brand. As small business owners we have a personal brand as well as a company brand. When you Google yourself or your company, what pops up? These results are the first impression people will have of you. Is it a good one? Is the information you are sharing across LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media sites consistent? Does the information show what you would like it to show?
Whether you have business partners, clients or potential customers, chances are someone is going to Google you to learn more about who you and your company. The question is, do you want to allow your online reputation to take on a life of its own or control the narrative? With the proliferation of social media and the gig economy, it has become essential for everyone to embrace personal and lifestyle branding.
So What is a Personal Brand?
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is famously quoted as saying, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” The term “branding” used to be reserved for only businesses, but with the advent of social sites and the gig economy, personal branding has become fundamental. A personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. It is how you present yourself to the world.
Effective branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust with prospective clients and employers. You have heard the saying I am sure many times, “People do business with whom they know, like and trust”. In building your personal brand, you are getting a head start with people getting to know you, or at least they feel like they know you. Hopefully the Google search results return positive information.
Why Personal Branding is More Important than Ever
Whether you’re an employee or entrepreneur, cultivating a personal brand has become more important than ever. Personal branding is also beneficial from the employer’s perspective. If you own a company, you should encourage employees to build strong personal brands because it’s just good business. When employees are allowed to represent their company at conferences or events, they are not only developing themselves but also providing the organization more exposure. Employees can help acquire new customers and retain existing ones when they are viewed as trustworthy thought leaders.
There are more and more people working for themselves or for small companies. It seems like companies will do just about anything to avoid hiring full-time employees these days. Add to that the fact that there is no job security anymore, and workers are increasingly aware that they need to work differently if they want to create any sort of stability for themselves. That being said, employees need to be able to clearly communicate who they are and what they do to stand out to prospective clients and employers. If you aren’t effectively managing your online reputation, then you run the risk of losing out on business opportunities.
Whether you’re looking for a better job or more sales for your company, personal branding is more important than ever. You don’t need to be Oprah or Richard Branson to have a great personal brand. It’s just a matter of continually crafting and curating your digital presence and most importantly, keep it real! Your honesty, transparency and authenticity are what will differentiate you in the long-run. You never get a second chance to make a first impression—make it one that will set you apart, build trust and reflect who you are.
If you need help or some ideas on personal branding check out my website for some resources on personal branding. As a photographer in Austin, Texas, I can help you get started with a lifestyle / branding shoot. Check out my personal branding portfolio for some inspiration.