The Brand of You

What is Your Brand?

The Importance of a Personal Brand

Google, Apple, Nike, Canon, BMW, Louis Vuitton. What do all of these have in common? If you guessed a reputable, globally recognized name: Congratulations, you’re correct.  Brand names are important. A brand name tends to make a memorable impression and tells consumers what they can or should expect from an item. It’s the main way of distinguishing a singular product from its competitors. They are a mark of quality and tend to attract loyalty from consumers. Letting consumers know why this product is a better alternative to its competitors. Overall, branding: gets recognition, increases value, generates interest, improves pride and satisfaction and creates trust. Of course, we aren’t all lucky enough to own a globally popular brand like those above. However, in today’s job market; with the numerous ways to find information on anyone, personal brand is now more important than ever.

Whether you are aware of it or not, you have a personal brand. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, was quoted as saying: “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” With the advent of social media sites and the emergence of the gig economy maintaining your personal brand in today’s world is essential. A personal brand is often characterized as the unique skills and experiences that make you who you are. Effective personal branding will have the same impact for you that effective product branding has for large corporations.

Why personal branding is more important to day than ever before

No matter whether you’re an employee or a business owner, cultivating a personal brand has become more important than ever before. The rise of social media, especially LinkedIn has changed the landscape of recruitment by making it easier than ever to find and reach out to potential candidates quickly. Recruiters are using social media during the interview and recruitment process more than ever. In fact, a 2018 CareerBuilder study found that 70% of employees use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process and additionally 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.

Additionally, personal brand is of growing importance in todays job market because of the emergence and domination of the gig economy. With the average employee switching jobs every 2 to 3 years and with leaders at Intuit, the owners of TurboTax, estimating that in 2020 freelance and contract workers will make up about 43% of the U.S. workforce; it is clear the gig economy isn’t going away anytime soon. As a result, workers need to be able to quickly and clearly communicate who they are and what they do to potential employers and recruiters. If you are not actively managing your online brand, your online reputation then you are in danger of losing out on valuable business opportunities.

Personal Branding is important in a job search

Companies should also be encouraging employees to maintain their own personal brand. Employees are not only developing their own personal brand, they are also representing their entire company. Employees who are seen as thought leaders in an industry can increase the trustworthiness and appearance of reliability in the company as a whole. In turn, this can lead to increased profitability and overall exposure of their company.

Developing a great personal brand does not happen overnight. It’s important to keep in mind how you should communicate your unique selling points and value to your audience in a genuine and real way. Look at famous examples of people who have developed incredible personal branding through their own hard work and consistent ability to express their value to their audience, people like Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson just to name a few.

Whether you’re looking to find a better job or to acquire more sales and exposure for your company personal branding is more important now than ever. You don’t need to be an Oprah Winfrey or Richard Branson, you just need to consistently focus on building your own personal brand through genuine interaction with your audience. Your honesty, transparency and ability be authentic is what will make you stand out in the long run. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a great first impression – so make sure you make one that sets you apart, makes you trustworthy and ultimately reflects who you truly are in the business world.  

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