How Branding Yourself Became the “It” Thing to Do
Branding Yourself. Personal branding – They’re both strange word pairings that, before 1997, no one had ever regularly used before. (And many probably still don’t.) Branding yourself started being the “it” thing to do when Tom Peters wrote a cover article called “The Brand Called You” in Fast Company magazine.
Soon after Peter’s article, more industry folks began speaking up about the benefits of branding yourself. Whether through a TED talk, an eBook, or a YouTube video, influencers everywhere were encouraging building a personal brand. They shared the concept of the brand of “you,” and emphasized the fact that impressions matter in every circumstance.
Like an awakening, people everywhere began drawing the connection that the better someone knows, likes, and respects you, your chances of obtaining a higher salary or a wildly successful business increase exponentially.
Personal Branding Defined
What is personal branding? Your personal brand is the sum of who you are. It’s your reputation. It’s how you dress, how you write, and how you talk. It is your character, and it is your legacy. And now, whether you like it or not, a large part of your personal brand is the one that you create for yourself online.
How consistent and authentic you are on digital channels means everything. And the harsh reality is, the trustworthiness of you and your business is (more often than not) determined by what you post, or don’t choose to post, online.
Business News Daily reported that 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process. And Forbes has reported that nearly half of U.S. adults Googled someone before doing business with them, and 56% of those people who Googled found something that solidified their decision to do business with the person.
These are some pretty big stats. They all add up to the fact that if we don’t proactively manage our personal brands, we’re destined for a life of half-assery. And no one wants that.
Think of people like Wendy Williams or Shaquille O’Neill. These are influencers who used their personalities to start and propel successful secondary careers.
No one would care as much if Wendy “spilled the tea” on celebrities without all of the shade throwing and attitude (which are her personality trademarks). And Shaquille wouldn’t have been a very fun choice as a Poppa John’s spokesperson if he wasn’t as likeable, silly, and goofy as he is.
The Main Reason Why You Should Actively Build Your Brand
Given the pandemic, digital has been crowned the preferred way to interact with customers or clients. (And again, this is happening whether you like it or not.)
COVID-19 has hit the fast-forward button on the public’s’ shift to online business. Turning your nose up at the idea of personal branding is no longer an option. You’ve got to position yourself as an authority, and you can only do that by being very deliberate about the things you choose to put online.
The better you are at proactively managing your personal brand and positioning yourself as an authority in your field, the more likely people will want to work with you in whatever capacity you like. Creating a brand for yourself is no longer optional. It is a necessity.