Everyone has a different definition of a personal brand. When you Google it, you're bound to see a number of different answers and opinions - but the resounding comment across the board, is that you need one.
For me, a personal brand is that one thing that people know you for. It's your online personality, but it's also your reputation both online and offline. It's a combination of your vision and your values and it's defined by that one thing you're working towards, your niche, your industry. All of this goes into your personal brand because by definition, your personal brand is about you: it's 'personal' to you.
If you're actively putting content online, the fact is you already have a personal brand - whether you know it or not. The act of controlling the narrative of your personal brand is where the branding is.
Almost all of us have a personal brand, but we're not all practicing personal branding', until we start to proactively manage and think about what we want to put out into the world and for what purpose. It's easy to take this and assume that the only people who have personal brands are influencers. But that's not the case. Personal branding isn't about the number of likes or shares, it's about the content you're consciously creating to reflect who you are and what you're doing. There are a number of different types of personal brand, and nearly everyone will fit into one of them. You might be a thought leader, or a creator, or an academic. Maybe you're a specialist, or a change-maker. Everyone's personal brand is different, because we are all different. The likelihood is, anyone you follow online, or even those at the top of their game in your workplace, have a personal brand. As Jeff Bezos said, "Your personal brand is what others are saying about you when you leave the room." Often, those who we look up to have reputation which proceeds them, whether its association or a reflection of their achievements. Being on top of your personal brand is about having control over this and ensuring you are reflected how you want to be reflected and that people are talking about you in a way you want to be talked about.
Read more about the difference between Employee Personal Branding vs Entrepreneur Personal Branding.
So, you're toying with the idea of developing your personal brand but are unsure whether you actually need one? I have one question for you:
Do you look at where you are today, and know that in a years time... in five years time... in ten years time... you want to have grown professionally and personally? If the answer is yes, if you have a that passion, that burning desire to be better than where you are right now, then you need a personal brand. Whether you're a sales manager, a reflexologist or a lecturer, there is a huge amount to be gained by defining yourself and being known within your niche. You will develop your priorities, you will attract opportunities, and you will start to make the impact you want to be making on your business and personal growth.
As we've seen over the last few months, the world is online. Companies without an online presence are being left behind as customers look for online alternatives to the in-person experience they once wanted. Similarly, people who were unknown in their niche or who don't have an online persona prior to 2020 are finding it increasingly difficult to land jobs and roles. Without being able to pass on word-of-mouth referrals and having in-person discussions, the one thing you can control right now is your personal job. As the job market goes into overdrive, those who have created a name for themselves and what they stand for, will inevitably come out on top. Despite the clear arrow between personal branding and your professional goals. It is also a vital part of developing personally, from defining your ambition to identifying why you do what you do (and anything you'd want to change). The reason you get out of bed shouldn't just be professional, it should also be deeply personal to you. When you define your why, you can ensure you're prioritizing in all of the right places to empower and energies yourself on a day-to-day basis.
We've always needed personal branding, there's never been a more important time than in 2020. It could be the make or break of landing your dream job, of growing your career, of attracting more opportunities and ultimately, or being a happier, more fulfilled person. When you have a personal brand, you are being proactive in your personal and professional growth.
Before building your personal brand, you need to uncover why you need it. What is your vision and what do you want to do in the world? When you've uncovered this, you can start thinking about your niche, your audience and who you want to make an impact on. For a step-by-step plan on how to build your personal brand, I've created the Powerful Leaders Academy. When you join the Academy, you are joining a group of leaders who are driven to make an impact. Through specialist coaching and a clear road map to building your brand, you have all of the support you need in one place.