Personal Branding Online: Essential in the XXI Century?
Personal branding might sound like a buzzword, but it’s so much more than that. Especially at the beginning of anyone’s career.
What is Personal Branding?
It is believed that term personal branding was popularised by management expert Tom Peters, who made a pledge for us to become the CEO of Me Inc. In his article for Fast Company, Peters suggests we should start treating ourselves as any other known brand, diagnose our USPs (unique selling points/propositions), and identify our brand values.
Why Should I Become a Brand?
Personal branding has many benefits, but a lot of people, including Tom Peters, would point out getting established in a job market as the main one. At the beginning of career, it’s very important to stand out. Especially in creative industries such as public relations. All graduates are smart, all of them have work experience under their belts. How to convince the employer that you’re really the one?
Personal branding can help get your name in front of your future bosses and make you more recognisable. It can show your passion and tell them more than your CV. My favourite benefit of branding oneself, however, is that it can help you connect with like-minded people, find you mentors and people who can guide you through the meanders of your career.
How Do I Take Care of My Personal Brand?
Just like with any other brand, you’ve to be patient—you won’t be able to create a recognisable personal brand overnight. It’ll require work. Here is where to start.
#1 Be consistent
Identify your area of expertise and work around it. Align your bio on Twitter to what you’d like to be associated with. Make sure you convey similar messages across all social platforms you’re using. Use the same profile picture across these networks.
#2 Be authentic
I’m a firm believer of the fact that online should only complement the offline brand. You shouldn’t create an alter ego online that is something completely different from what you represent in real life.
#3 Think of others
I love the quote from Zig Ziglar, which reads: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” I mentioned before that personal branding can connect you with the like-minded people. You can do that by sharing your expertise. Use a medium you’re comfortable with and create content. Write a blog, record a podcast or a video, and share your insights. Be generous and you’ll find great people who can later on become your mentors.
All in all, personal branding online is hugely important when we want to break into a competitive industry and connect with brilliant people. It’s crucial, however, to remember that it’s all about being authentic and generous. There has never been a better time to enhance personal branding with online presence.