According to Google Trends, the search volume of the term “personal brand” has increased approximately 4x over the last 15 years.
“Personal branding” is a term that you now encounter on many channels. Especially self-employed people, founders or people working in PR, marketing and journalism know the importance of a personal brand.
But does an Investment Banker, Lawyer or Sustainability Consultant need one too?
The answer is a resounding yes.
Just as a brand’s reputation influences your decision to interact or not around it, your brand is what makes you unique and stand out from your peers and competitors.
Why do I need a Personal Brand?
A personal brand consists of the values and characteristics that you want to embody and convey.
A recent study by Koukash Consultancy found that 58% of respondents prioritised organisations and individuals with a personal brand.
Think about your reasons for choosing a specific lawyer or working with a consultant know as being the best in their industry. It is their personal brand that makes you want to work with them.
When beginning to think about your personal brand, the essential questions are: “Who do you think you are? Who do other people think you are? What do you think of other people?”
The intersection of these questions is the key message of your personal brand.
A professional brand sets you apart. In today’s digital-first world, standing out within your profession is crucial to staying ahead and having people seek you out as a Key Opinion Leader (KOL).
However, personal branding is not a quick fix: it takes consistency and commitment to integrate your personal brand effectively.
What are the benefits for companies when employees have personal branding?
Developing and building a personal brand is not just crucial once you’ve achieved career success.
It is, in fact, an essential step to getting there.
From Mark Zuckerberg to Elon Musk, brands are now intrinsically linked to their “people”. According to a study by Brand Builders Group, 82% of all Americans stated that “companies are more influential if their executives have a personal brand that they know and follow.
The importance of creating a personal that persuades, compels, leads and inspires is something that business leaders aspire to achieve.
With the exponential growth of social media, the freelance workforce, and the gig economy, a solid personal brand has become imperative for almost any ambitious future.
More organisations seek to hire employees who can act as brand ambassadors and utilise their professional and personal networks.
A strong personal brand online can also help you land your dream job: a 2018 CareerBuilder survey revealed that 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, & 43% of employers use social media to check current employees.
For example, you can utilise social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram, publish to Medium, and become a brand leader.
By cultivating a personal brand online, you are not only enhancing your reputation but making yourself more compelling to future hiring managers.
Personal branding is a Trust Accelerator.
We need to shift our thinking to reputation building instead of personal branding. A reputation is built up by trust, and a personal brand is a trust accelerator.
A recent study found that 76% of American Millennials are more likely to buy from a person with a personal brand.
Like all skills, you cannot master personal branding overnight. It takes time, commitment & dedication to identifying what you want to be known for & build your brand authentically.
It is essential to invest in reflecting on your personal brand & how to build & maintain it.
Remember that your reputation sets you apart & continue to channel authenticity in all your interactions – both online & offline.
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