So, you’ve got a personal brand, now what?
You’ve seen the articles and blogs, “7 Things You Can Do To Build An Awesome Personal Brand” or “The Complete Guide To Building Your Personal Brand.” You might be feeling decently content now that you’ve expended countless hours building your social media network and possibly spending some spare change for your personal website, but the party is just getting started. Let me first clarify that you are never fully finished when it comes to building your personal brand. It’s a living, breathing creature that is continuously evolving and changing with you as you develop and progress. That being said, there is a point when it’s fully matured, if you will, and ready to be put to use. There’re more methods to use your personal brand, but we’re going to try to discuss a few of the obvious ones here.
Take it from Jeff Bezos, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” That’s assuming, of course, that people are talking about you. Hopefully they are and hopefully it’s something you can be proud of, but don’t let people just talk about your brand when you’re not around. Initiate the conversation yourself. You’ve worked hard to develop your own personal brand, now it’s time to put it on display.
Using your brand to get what you want
Let’s address the obvious: getting that job. Use your personal brand and particularly your online portfolio when applying for a new job. “Of all executive recruiters, 90 percent say they conduct online research of candidates.” Make their job easy, give them your brand, give them your personal website and with it, give them a lasting impression.
You should look at that raise you’ve been waiting for or that promotion that is long overdue similarly to applying for a job. If you’re pitching for a raise to your supervisor, incorporate your personal brand and portfolio as convincing evidence and to add weight to your proposal.
Using your brand to build your network
Your brand should be something worth sharing. If it’s not, then maybe you need to reevaluate it. All of the components of your personal marque; social media profiles, personal website, and even business cards should all be interconnected and operate together to perform a specific function. That can be generating leads, getting a job, or building your professional network. But be careful, “Blogs, social media and other web-based content are effective networking channels, but entrepreneurs often use these instruments solely for marketing their services and products. Coming across as self-promotional is not helpful to your personal brand—and can turn potential connections off.”
Using your brand to make you money
Let’s talk business, specifically small business owners or entrepreneurs. Let’s clear something up, your personal brand is stronger than your business’ brand. Your employee’s individual brands are several times more powerful than your personal brand or your business’ brand. So, put it to use. Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when posted by an individual as opposed to a cooperate brand. Employ your personal brand to promote your business. Share the same content you are trying to share via digital marketing or advertising on your personal social media or in your personal blog/newsletter. On that note, use your employees’ brands where possible, “content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement than content shared by brand channels.”
Sales representatives who employ social media as part of their sales techniques outsell 78 percent of their peers. As a freelancer, your brand is everything, it’s essentially what you’re selling. If you’re a photographer, you aren’t selling photos, you’re selling the specific skill set that you have to make amazing photos. Use your personal brand as an exhibit of what it’s like to work with you and to experience what you do.
Put your personal brand to work because it’s more impactful and valuable than you think. The more you actively use your personal brand, the more you will grow, refine, and polish it. Your personal brand can be whatever you want it to be, but don’t forget that more than anything, your reputation is your brand. “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook.