What is ‘personal branding’ and why is it so important? You’ve probably heard this term thrown about a lot around these parts. This is especially true if you’re job seeking or changing your career. It’s also often referenced when you’re trying to get a promotion at work or influence senior colleagues.
Personal branding is essentially the purposeful effort to enhance the public perception of yourself and increase your influence (and credibility) amongst your current and wider circle. It’s essentially about building relationships – which is the key driver to a successful career whether you’re working for a company or owning one.
People may have a strong affiliation with a brand, but they don’t have a relationship with a company and their logo – they have it with the individual. People want to like you and they want you to impress them. That’s why personal branding is so important. It should be a priority for anyone that wants a successful career.
Here are our top 5 reasons why personal branding is so important and why you should prioritise it now…
1. Networking and self-promotion helps you get known.
Whilst networking might not feel natural for everyone – it’s clear that it can help you become an industry leader in your sector or help propel your business into the right circles. Networking helps with sales, reputation, brand awareness and conversions. Relationship building is essential for creating a successful career. This can be a department lunch, an after-work drink with the team, a formal company conference or an external sector event. Whatever it is – your personal brand is what matters. People will remember YOU – not your job title or your company name. So make sure you’ve got a clear message, you’re sincere and you’re distinctive.
2. An impressive LinkedIn profile will help you stand out from the crowd.
We are of course huge advocates of the power of a strong online profile, but this isn’t just relevant for your company profiles. Your individual LinkedIn profile should be impressive too.
You represent the company and are the external face for potential clients/partners and potential employees. You need to be as consistent, smart and professional as you can be. This is even more important if you’re looking to grow your contacts list or do some voluntary work or even get a new job. We recommend you review your LinkedIn profile regularly and ensure it’s reflective of your brand. Try to get recommendations where possible, interact with brands and people you admire and read more about your sector. This will all help enhance your brand and take you further on your career journey.
Read more on why LinkedIn can help small businesses succeed in this blog post.
3. If you have a clear vision you’re more likely to succeed.
Many people at the start of their career aren’t sure what they want to do, or what they want to specialise in or even what they’re good at. And that’s okay! This may take time and there’s no rush. Once, you’ve found your brand though, this gives you the vision to make plans and set career goals. Maybe you’re obsessed with being a leader but you’re a natural introvert – this could be your USP! Perhaps you can get a mentor to guide you and go on a night course in leadership. Or maybe they can coach you to formulise your plan and get inspired at the same time. Perhaps you’re really good at explaining really complicated things – maybe you can expand on this and do staff training across your company? The world is your oyster!
4. If you want to be in leadership – it’s essential to have a distinctive personal brand.
This comes back to our original point about people wanting to work with an individual, not a brand. This is also relevant for leadership – employees stay in jobs where they respect management and their leaders. You can be the expert at what you do – but if you’re not warm and welcoming as an individual then people won’t feel motivated or driven. Your employees need to respect you and they need to want to impress you. If you want to become an inspiring and effective leader – then we urge you to think about your brand and the type of leader you want to become. There’s the old saying – people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses. A great boss and leader can create a loyal, efficient and effective team.
5. A personal brand can help you stand out against competition.
You may be up against a co-worker for an internal promotion, you may want to present for your department at the international company conference or you may be applying for a very popular job at a very popular company. Sometimes you are going to be the same ‘on paper’ as another individual and you can’t change the facts – but you can change the packaging! You can ensure your personality, your ‘vision’ and your stamp is firmly on the situation.
This may be the only differentiator for the decision-maker – so be sure to be original, clear, consistent and full of energy. You won’t be forgotten! This is especially true if you’re a business owner in a saturated market – be the best version of you and ensure your personal brand is distinctive, appealing and memorable.
How can we help you?
Are you a business owner and you need to refine your personal brand? Maybe you’ve newly taken over a department and you need to refine your internal communication plan? Maybe you’re in HR and you need some marketing support to help you engage your staff with their personal development plans? We’re still offering free 20-minute consultations – so why not take the plunge and book a chat today?