27 Oct Personal Branding: What is it and Why Does it Matter?
By Lacey Rae Visintainer, Brand Manager
Branding used to be just for businesses, or so we thought. Then the internet happened. Fast forward a few years… the beasts we call social media and digital advertising have propelled brands straight into our homes and hands. While this is an advancement for all, it also means that a stronger connection between businesses and their consumers/partners is required. Consumers aren’t satisfied with traditional advertising anymore. They’re tuned-in to the missions, or hearts, of companies – and that means they’re tuned in to the people behind companies.
Rory Vaden, co-founder of Brand Builders Group stated: “People don’t do business with companies. They do business with people they like. We have relationships based on trust and mutual connections. There’s just something about a connection with a human being that creates a level of endearment and customer loyalty beyond any relationship a company could ever reach. The strong bonds people have with one another can’t be overestimated.”
His quote sums up why personal branding is essential in the workplace.
So, what is it?
Personal branding encompasses your reputation, your goals, your strengths, your focus, your weaknesses, and the list goes on. Discovering and leveraging your personal brand means discovering what you stand for and deciding how you want to present yourself. It is a collection of perceptions and responses. Before we dive into all of this, let me point out what personal branding is not….
Personal branding IS NOT:
– Smoke in mirrors
– About getting likes or comments on your social media
– Focusing solely on you
It is, however, authentically owning who you are.
Personal Branding is about being self-aware and socially aware. It allows you to control your own narrative and to convey your value to your audience.
Here are five reasons why I believe that Personal Branding matters:
1. It’s investing in YOU
Keep growing. By investing in your personal brand, you’re investing in yourself and your own personal and professional growth. Why wouldn’t you want to do this? At Byars|Wright, we like to say ‘If you aren’t growing, you’re dying’.
2. It helps you develop stronger relationships
Because you can’t fake your brand (at least not for long), you are more likely to develop real relationships with people around you, and people are more likely to be drawn to you when you know what you’re about. Branding will also take your networking to the next level!
3. You will gain confidence and credibility
When you know what you’re about – others will know it too. This will make you more confident in yourself and your abilities, and it will also give you more credibility.
4. You can build and leverage your audience
When you have an audience, you have access to something everyone wants: people’s attention. Use this to your advantage! Whether it’s at the office, online, or in your own home, your brand can help you build an audience that cares about what you have to say. Your brand may be the reason that someone does or doesn’t pick up your phone calls!
5. It gives you the ability to DREAM BIG
The direction that people find through personal branding and its success is conducive to a progressive mindset. If you are investing in your personal brand and growing because of it, new opportunities will arise. Doors will open. Ideas will evolve. When you realize your strengths and use them to your advantage, the possibilities are endless!
The first step in owning your personal brand is figuring out where you are now.
What are you known for – good or bad? What do you want to be known for? Ask your friends, co-workers, or family to describe you. Try taking a personality or aptitude test! I’ve enjoyed starting my journey with the Enneagram, but there are plenty of different options online that you can choose from to begin learning about and working on YOU.
Your personal brand, like anything else that truly matters, takes time. Go ahead and start investing in yourself today. You won’t regret it tomorrow.