Does Personal Branding Really Matter?
My first thought about so-called personal branding? What a load of hogwash! I mean, do you really need to put yourself out there like that?
Back in the day, we didn’t need fancy branding to get ahead in business. We just put on our stiff shirts and fat neckties and went about our jobs. We kept our heads down and put in the hours, said “yes, sir!”, and then slammed the door when we got home at 6:00 each evening.
But, as much as it pains me to admit it, times have changed. And so have the rules of the game. I get it. The world is a different place now, faster, flashier, and friends driven. Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame has turned into 15 seconds of ticky-tok. Texts rule! Click on this! Bah Humbug!
Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame has turned into 15 seconds of ticky-tok.
So, is a PB is really worth all the fuss? As someone who has been there and seen it all, I wanted to give an honest opinion, but I had to do some research first.
What is personal branding?
It’s supposed to be about creating a consistent and authentic image of yourself that reflects your values, skills, and experiences. It’s your business card on steroids. It’s like your own personal marketing campaign, designed to showcase your unique talents and attract the right customers and partners.
It’s your business card on steroids!.
Long ago we had to build relationships with prospects and customers, but today it‘s’ all about building a following. We had to actually get people to like us, spend time with them, understand them, not just click buttons on a smart phone.
Now, you might be thinking, “Why bother? I’ve already got a successful business, what more do I need?” You bother because you want to grow your darn business, that’s why! If you aren’t moving forward, you’re falling behind. That’s just plain business truth. You need an edge, and PB will give you just that (I guess).
Why personal branding matters:
Stand Out from the Crowd: In this day and age, there are more businesses out there than you can shake a stick at. Your PB will get you some attention — it shows that you are someone worth knowing.
Build Trust with Customers: People do business with people they know, like, and trust. Evidently, trust comes easily today… just have to be online with a bunch of followers.
Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader: You have a wealth of knowledge and experience in your industry, right? So, share it! And, share your life also! You have learned so much, now use your PB to give back some too! Lessons learned die silently unless you tell others. They will see the value.
But, here’s the thing — building a personal brand is a major time-suck. You’re already running a business, do you really have the time to craft your perfect personal brand?
It takes time, effort, and a lot of trial and error. And there’s no guarantee that it will work. So, if you’re going to do it, you need to do it right, knucklehead.
The key is to get help, even if it costs you.
Delegating the mechanics of creating your brand content can be a lifesaver. Hire a content creator or social media manager to manage your personal brand.
If you’re going to do it, you need to do it right, knucklehead.
Helpers can create content for your social media profiles, manage your website, and help establish your online presence. They can also assist with other tasks such as managing your email marketing campaigns and running paid advertising campaigns.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Be Authentic: Don’t try to be someone you’re not. People can smell a phony from a mile away. Be true to yourself, your values, and your vision.
Be Consistent: Your personal brand should be consistent across all platforms — from your website to your social media profiles to your public speaking engagements. Make sure you’re sending a clear and cohesive message.
Be Patient: Building a personal brand takes time. It’s not something you can do overnight. But with persistence and hard work, you can achieve your branding goals.
Oh, and don’t forget, do the job right!
You can personal brand all day long, but if you mess up the customer’s project, you lose all the good will your PB got you in the first place. Nothing beats quality performance and excellent customer service. Sure, build your brand, but don’t forget that your business is still the most important thing.