When is Personal Branding Important?
The short answer is – Always. Now, you might think, yeah, whatever, I don’t have a personal brand and I survived without it so far. Well, the thing is you DO have a personal brand and it has ALWAYS influenced your personal and professional life, even if you didn’t pay attention to it. Let me explain.
Your Personal Brand is in fact, how the majority of people perceive your personality. What they say about you when you’re not in the same room. I’m talking about the people in your team, your clients, neighbours, etc. It’s a general perspective about who you are.
So why should you care about this? Because lacking a consistent and solid image and set of actions will only create opportunities for speculations and assumptions about who you are and what you do. If you don’t tell people clearly who you are and what you do, they will make their own ideas and they might not be what you’d like.
Unless you are a rocket scientist, the products or services you represent, market and sell are probably the same as of other hundreds or thousands of people in your market. So what makes you special? Why should potential clients, employers, partners, suppliers choose you over the others? This is where your personal brand could help you get a competitive edge.
Since a friend recommended me to have a profile on LinkedIn, 14 years ago, I’ve developed my presence on this platform in such a way that, at some point, I was getting 80% of the business leads through it. Crazy, eh? The thing is, it’s just ONE platform, one entry point in your sales funnel. There are so many more, you probably know all of them already.
But personal branding is not only about online (even though mostly it is). Any first contact opportunity with a stakeholder in your business, career and even personal life is a chance for you to showcase who you are and how you could add value to the people you interact with. Many times, having a solid personal brand is the difference between moving forward with a lead or losing it.
Let’s explore some bullet points to see how can your personal brand influence your success:
- Usually, before you get to meet in person, you somehow connect online with your prospect clients/recruiters/etc. What do they see about you? If you’re active on LinkedIn (you should be), do you have a solid profile? Do you engage in professional conversations? Do you share relevant content from your industry? How big is your network?
- When you go to networking events, can you introduce yourself like your personal brand? Can you clearly state who you are, how do you help people solve a specific problem and brake the ice, all in 10 seconds? Does your appearance reflect who you are and what you do?
- If your website is a key factor in the sale funnel, is it updated? How well does it represent you and your business? Does it have a clear structure? Is the information easy to access? Is it fast enough for mobile? Do you track your visitors, follow-up with them?
- If you’re looking for a career change, is your resume displaying correctly the information a recruiter wants to see? Are you prepared to discuss your future position in the company from a composed standpoint, having a congruent message all-around through what you say, how you look, how your LinkedIn profile and activity are and how your resume describes your career and expertise?
There is so much more about your personal brand, that I could write an entire book about it (hmmm, maybe?) But for now, I’d love to hear about your experience with personal branding – how is it working/ or not for you.