Personal branding is simply the practice of people marketing themselves and careers as a brand. Its growth as a major business strategy over the last decade has been prominent for those of us working within the digital world. Whilst your physical presence is critical, it is your digital profile that is Omni-present around the world. It therefore requires you to truly define yourself and your professional journey, something which shows what you have to offer to your organisation, customers and industry.
From both a personal and company view we look at the reasons why the importance of personal branding in digital has sky-rocketed.
Presence as a trustworthy source – A well nurtured personal brand that has a clear link to your business or organisation will encourage people to trust you and in turn be more inclined to bring their business to you. This is essential as we are still in a transition period where a large number of people are not up to speed with the pace at which the digital world is moving. They therefore look for confidence and expertise, two things that can be displayed through your personal branding.
Helps you climb the career ladder – On a personal level, creating your own brand and ethos shows off the qualities that companies love to see in their current and potential employees. For starters it displays the ability to manage and maintain an image, whilst demonstrating the skills and attributes unique to you. In addition, it shows that you have something to say for yourself and want to get it out there – a drive that is not to be undervalued in digital.
Allows you to establish a target audience – Digital depends on its audience. With an immeasurable potential of interest at your fingertips it is essential to work out who you want to appeal to and for what reasons. Engaging with them will provide you and your organisation with all kinds of opportunities.
You can encourage loyalty – The desire of every brand is loyalty and your personal brand should be no different. The connection that your digital presence can render is vital for your business, as in many cases a human connection is not possible. A reputable personal brand that people have digitally engaged with strengthens the chances that the individual will feel a connection to your organisation too.
Helps you to figure out who cares – Engagement in the digital world shows you who cares about what you have to say. The interest your brand generates can help you recognise the companies and individuals that value you, whilst also reflecting the value they place on a digital presence as well.
A common myth suggests that personal branding is just for business owners – it’s not. Having people with strong identities at every level displays a forward thinking and ambitious organisation, two of the fundamentals of the digital industry.
The wide array of digital channels allows effective outlets for your personal brand. The most obvious; social media requires a strategy that will benefit both you and the organisation you represent. Whilst you want to appear individual and unique you also need to match the ethos of your employer and attributes essential to your industry.
The future is likely to see even more media channels and even more brands vying for attention on them, so stay true to your goal and message and take the time to create and maintain a solid personal brand.