Personal Branding - How important is it?
Updated: Oct 30, 2019
For the last 12 months when coaching clients I always found myself referring to this strange phenomenon called Personal Branding. But what really is it? Just the latest Buzz word created to make us do more work? New trend? Or is there some magical world in Business people were yet to fully discover?
I noticed the changes to Real Estate Agents and how they were marketing themselves individually - becoming the Micro Business in a Macro Environment. They are now more responsible than ever for representing themselves according to their personal brand as well as the company they work for. They can go further than just having their personal bio on the company website - they create their brand through LinkedIn, independent Facebook pages and groups, their own Instagram pages, blogs etc. This means that people get to know them - so when it comes time to sell or buy a home guess whose name they think of first? Yep - the one that is engaging, helpful, and known! The most noticeable for me was the change in MLM and Direct Marketing companies - no longer were people spruiking just the benefits of the products, they were making it all about them, their journey, lifestyle, environmental impacts, overall improvements to their health, wealth and happiness they created from the products and business they built. That's where Personal Branding comes into its own power. It gives you the ability to become the personality separate from your business. This enables you to build your Brand even when working in someone else's business.
When I think back through my working career even when working in Retail Stores I was able to build up my personal brand and reputation by delivering exceptional service, prompt follow up and give customers a unique experience when I then opened my own retail store the customers followed! It taught me that when you connect with people in person or online authentically, from a place of service and grateful for the opportunity - people respond with loyalty.
So with people's ability to now create powerful personal brands is that a threat to companies? Can their employees own brand surpass that of the employers? Well in short YES that is entirely possible. People that bring their own brand, following, database and network to a company are of course an asset to any business and industry they pursue. This is where creating a company culture that supports and endorses their individual brands means that employees will choose to stay in the environment, failure to uphold a proactive and supportive environment will inevitably cause a company struggles and experience high staff turnover. Recognising the benefits and training employees in how to be proactive in their Personal Branding is a way to innovate through this cultural change and create a dynamic environment that will benefit the business, employees and clients.
Of course everyone's needs are different for the personal and business needs however Personal Branding is the element that can assist you personally and professionally to reach a new level of engagement with your audience and target market. Also it gives you the ability to share your value from a whole new perspective for example: Blogging for business is a great way to provide massive value and position your business as the leader in your industry not to mention it also improves SEO. Having a personal brand means that you can share insights of the 'behind the scenes' aspects of your business and personal life. You can share your story authentically about the successes and challenges you face day to day. The benefit of this is your audience get to know YOU. They resonate with the people behind the business. Like the age old saying goes:
People buy from people they know, like or trust.
In my research into the fundamentals of Personal Branding - what exactly is it? How does one achieve this level of importance to focus time on one self? Is it just a heap of people standing on a soap boxes boasting bullshit, sharing photos of extravagant lifestyle in the hope to make others jealous and hand over all their money in the dream they too will have this fakeagram life? Geez I really hope not!
I had decided before I launched my business that I wanted to be me - worts, weirdness and all. I didn't have a clear plan on how I was going to achieve this but I knew what it was going to feel like (fellow kinaesthetics out there know what I am talking about!) I wanted to attract an audience in a way that suited me. Nearly 12 months on and I am so pleased to say this approach has most definitely worked for me. I have enjoyed a constant flow of clients and have had a great year doing what I love most in the in the world - working with people who have decided to take the incredible leap in life to move away from a job and build a business that gives back their knowledge, experience and massive value back to the world.
Then as the Universe does it sends you what you have ask for, the opportunity to do what I love EVEN MORE! This time it was an out of the blue message from Andrew Ford who thought my LinkedIn bio was hilarious as I referred to myself as an Ideas Generating Machine. Andrew is known as the e-ttractionist and founder of Personal Branding Management agency Social Star - I can't recall exactly how I got his book, or when we connected on LinkedIn - I just know that I am very grateful that everything aligned so we did. There are a few times in your life where you will experience that feeling of instant connection with another human. That was the feeling I had when I first spoke with Andrew. I stalked his content and we had messaged one another sporadically, but when we finally got on the phone to talk it was like I was talking to my brother from another mother. We shared similar values, vision, views and the unwavering passion for business and helping people build their own business. It was an incredible moment for me. Reading his book and listening to his podcast I constantly heard my words coming from his mouth!
What resonated highly for me was the natural and authentic way Andrew viewed Personal Branding. YES!! This is exactly what I was looking for! What I learnt from his Social Star University was all the same content I had been sharing with my clients for the past year - just presented in an easy to manage and understand platform with brilliant resources to support the learning. Personal Branding isn't just a bunch of pretty pictures and logos it incorporates understanding people's strengths, challenges, values and preferences then packaging them all together with a clear and powerful message that attracts the right audience to you rather than the soap box approach!
We are now working together on a few different ventures which I am incredibly grateful and excited about!!
See just from my story how important it is to have a unique and authentic Personal Brand - the opportunities will find YOU!
Feel free to reach out if you would like to chat about creating YOUR own personal brand also you can grab a copy of Andrews book here http://www.socialstar.com.au/ebooks/
Enjoy the experience of owning your own power, presence and promotion.