What Actually Is A Personal Brand?!
Personal branding is talk of the town at the moment.
You can't go 5 seconds on LinkedIn without someone telling you need a personal brand or that they've got the secret personal branding sauce.
But let's get real...
How many people actually know what personal branding is?
Well, in this blog we'll give our take and answer some of your personal branding FAQs
What Is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is the deliberate and intentional process of framing your unique combination of skills, experience, expertise, values, and personality to develop a positive reputation both online and offline.
In other words, consciously trying to improve what people think about you.
Personal branding is a marketing and brand strategy that helps you position yourself in a certain light and manage the public perception of you.
Other Definitions of Personal Branding
Some people say personal branding is what people say about you when you're not in the room.
Some might simplify it to just your online reputation.
Others might refer to it as self-branding, thought leadership, or industry leadership.
Regardless of the definition, personal branding is all about one thing: positioning yourself deliberately in the best light possible to have a positive impact on your career or business.
One of the best ways to understand personal branding better is to understand what it is not...
What Personal Branding Is Not
Now this is where a lot of the confusion around personal branding comes in.
Personal branding is not about forging a false representation for yourself.
We are not trying to trick anyone here.
That's not authentic and quickly gets found out. It's important to create a personal brand that is genuine and true to you.
Rather, we're trying to create a more accurate representation of our skills, experience, expertise and personality.
It's also not about self-promotion. The best personal brands we see are not the ones that constantly want to be in the limelight, but those that shine a spotlight on other people, ideas or strategies.
If you're building a personal brand just to boost your own ego, you won't be successful.
It's not about becoming an 'influencer' either. Whilst social media influencers have a form of personal brand themselves, personal branding tends used in a more professional environment when we talk about developing your career and business.
As you build a personal brand, you'll certainly become more influential in your space, but it's unlikely you'll be landing deals with makeup brands or being invited to Love Island.
You don't necessarily need to be a public figure to build a personal brand. Everyone should build a strong personal brand if they want to be seen as a thought leader in their industry or develop their careers, particularly if you're a founder or CEO looking to grow your company.
You're probably now considering whether you have your own personal brand, and if everyone around you has one too...
Does Everyone Have A Personal Brand?
Well, kind of. Depends who you ask.
Our take is that not everyone has a personal brand, but everyone can engage in personal branding to build one.
Undeniably, everyone has a reputation in the offline world.
But this is slightly different to a personal brand.
Looking back at the definition of personal branding we shared, two key words are 'deliberate' and 'intentional'.
Reputation becomes a personal brand when you are consciously trying to manage it, usually online or on social media. It requires intentional effort.
You might now be asking yourself, 'Is my personal brand important? Do I really need a personal brand myself?'
Do I Need a Personal brand?
In short, most likely.
Look, you can have a successful career and build a wildly profitable business without having a successful personal brand. There are countless examples of incredibly successful businesses run by people you've never heard of.
(And it's a big but)
It is far easier to achieve professional success with a successful personal branding strategy working for you.
You're launching a new product or service.
Would it be easier and more successful if:
a. Nobody knew who who you were, or
b. You had a large following of current and potential clients in your target audience across social media accounts who knew you, liked you and trusted you. You had a clear brand voice and were seen as a highly reliable thought leader in your space. And you had been creating value driven content across your website and social media channels to earn respect from your audience and like minded people.
It's easy right...
There's no denying a strong personal brand helps. Strong personal brands are a form of leverage.
You should consider your public persona, what potential customers think of you, and how building your personal brand might help you improve how people perceive you, if you want to do any of the following:
- Appear in the media
- Grow your business
- Increase company valuation
- Rank higher in search engines
- Win more clients or customers
- Charge higher prices for your work
- Attract the best talent to your business
- Retain that talent
- Diversify your income sources
- Connect with like-minded people
- Generate more opportunities for your career
- Make a good impression on potential employers
- Connect and earn trust with your target audience
- Never have to worry about your future career prospects ever again
I think that's the 'Is personal branding important?' question answered...
Hopefully this article has given you a better understanding of what personal branding is, what it is not and why it's important that you build your own brand.
Personal branding is the deliberate and intentional process of framing your unique combination of skills, experience, values, and personality to develop a positive reputation both online and in real life.
In the digital age, creating a personal brand gives you a platform for connecting with potential clients at scale online, becoming an industry leader and growing your business.
If you want to start your personal branding journey, you might like to check out our 'Ultimate Guide to Personal Branding' which will show walk you through some of the key steps for creating a personal brand from scratch, such as finding your brand identity, optimising social accounts and how to create content on social media. It will also provide some great examples of successful brand building and some mistakes to avoid.
Alternatively, you can reach out to us and see how our team of personal branding experts can help you grow your brand and business.