Type your name, for instance, Julian, on Google Search Engine – what do you get? Thousands of different ‘Julian’ will pop up on your screen, and one of them is you.
Your social media profile, LinkedIn account, and other results related to your online presence will pop up in a few seconds. Can you hide your personal profile from the world?
The answer is NO!
Today, social media is the dominant medium of staying in touch with others.
The platform is open to all, and the information is fed daily.
Your personal life is no more a private entity of yours.
Your interviewer can find you online and your clients and employees. What you share on your social media accounts is visible to everyone.
Yes! Privacy policies of this medium are not to keep everything about you private.
And that’s the very reason why we say building your brand is so important. Why?
Because research shows that “70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”
What you post on social media, posts you share, and comments you give speak volumes about your personality. The statements and the bars reflect the real you! That can be damaging to your personal brand if not done correctly.
Jeff Bezos once stated, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
And you thought branding was synonymous with businesses.
Even though Amazon and Apple are brands, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs are brands too!
So can you if you know how to build your brand?
Because your online activities show who you are, your core values, your orientation, your long-term goals, how reliable you are, what your motto is, what you believe in, and many other things.
These details matter if you are looking for a job or trying to convince your clients about your services.
If you are running your own business, your clients and investors want to know who you are. Yes, they would be concerned about your business, but they would also be bothered about your image.
You can be a con artist or a bankrupt. You can be a multimillionaire or a pauper. Your investors and clients are putting in their money, so they want to know about you. For them, your image is as important as your business is.
Yes, they would be interested to know how your business can generate good revenue. But your clients/investors would be equally interested in understanding whether you are a trustable person. They would like to know whether their money is in safe hands.
And, they would like to know if there are any possibilities of you running away with their money.
So you should build your personal image alongside your business’s brand image.
Also, having a solid personal profile is not only crucial for entrepreneurs. As we said, interviewers track the online activities of prospective employees before hiring them. So, even if you are just an employee, do not think your online presence is not being watched.
Yet another reason why personal branding is essential is that the gig economy has become the accepted norm.
According to researchers, “freelance and contract workers will make up 43% of the U.S workforce.”
The pandemic has since changed the way people earn their livelihood.
The last two years have seen an unprecedented rise in startups, influencers, YouTubers, and freelancers.
People are switching jobs frequently to maintain a good work-life balance or opt to become their boss and make money without working under someone else’s 9-6 hours of strict surveillance.
More and more employees want freedom and flexibility in their work. Hence, the a growing affinity towards contractual employment or freelancing.
Landing a new job or project as a freelancer is more difficult if you build a reputation for yourself as a lazy boner or untrustworthy jobber.
What people are saying about you behind your back should worry you. Because the possibility of you landing a job depends on that image you had built for yourself.
So personal branding is essential irrespective of whether you are launching your own business or looking for a job. Why?
Reason #1: You Don’t Want to be Someone Who is Easily Forgotten
You don’t want to be someone who is quickly forgotten as soon as you leave the room. Or someone who rarely gets attention in a gathering.
Instead, you should be someone who always retains the spotlight in a social or professional gathering. And you definitely should be someone people like to gossip about once you leave the room.
People should remember and not forget you after the initial formalities of ‘Hi’ and ‘How are you doing?’
Take the example of Oprah Winfrey. She is a brand and is worth $2.5 billion.
Be someone like her!
Reason #2: You Want Others to Find You
People are doing the craziest things to get attention from others on social media.
Building a solid network of followers has become the living motto of the younger generation.
Do you know what an uphill battle one has to fight to gain the attention of the viewers?
The same goes for startups.
There are probably thousands of small ventures with valuable websites and active social media profiles. Yet, they struggle to get attention or acquire customers.
The owners are left clueless about the lack of clients for their businesses and investors. So what is the problem here?
The problem is the inability of the owners to build a trustworthy profile of themselves on social media. Instead, they focused more on building their company’s brand image and ignored correcting their online presence.
To place your company on solid ground, you must also focus on building your personal brand.
Take, for example, Richard Branson.
Even though this person was the founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson has a strong public profile and knows how to stay in the news all the time. His crazy publicity stunts, unorthodox style, and commitment to his passion made Richard Branson the brand he is today.
You can’t ignore him. And, do you know what Richard Branson says, “Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealized, perfected image of themselves. Consequently, their brands acquire no texture, character, or public trust.”
He is one of the most vibrant, colorful, visible, successful, and famous men alive today.
People recognize him as Richard Branson more and not so much as the founder of Virgin Group.
You want prospective clients or investors to seek out your ideal company to find you for the job offer. It should not be the other way around.
Reason #3: You Want to Gain the Trust and Confidence of Your Followers
Do you know how competitive the world around us has become?
Trust us when we say the competition will worsen in the coming days. Yes, it will be nothing short of a rat race, and you might have a 0.00005% chance of winning the game.
Do you think you are good enough?
If so, it is high time to let go of that overconfidence and focus on finding where you stand in the public eye.
You can be the best person for yourself or your friends and families. But you might not be worthy enough to give attention to someone outside your circle of influence.
And that someone can be your future employer (your ideal company) or your potential client.
So, instead of building inflated overconfidence about yourself, maybe you should start building your public image and winning the confidence of others.
And that trust will win you credibility. It would be best if you focused on establishing why people should trust you to beat that. Or why people should consider you as their first choice over others.
Here, your solid personal brand will help. Your brand provides a platform where you can quickly build trust and encourage others to feel comfortable dealing with or doing business with you.
Trust us, that cannot be achieved overnight. After all, Rome was not built in a day.
But it is not impossible as well.
Understanding your personal brand’s importance will help you achieve your dreams quickly. Whether you want to become a successful entrepreneur or the best salesman of the year, your public image and personal brand will speak volumes about who you are more than your words.
Focus on that before you do anything else.
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