Why Invest In Your Personal Brand

Personal branding is a mandatory requirement for modern-day professionals, there are few exceptions. You can read more about online personal branding in my previous blogs. The general idea is to combine your rational value (skill set), emotional value (aura, presence), and identity (connections, representations on networks) into a unified, cohesive message that establishes your personal brand. Here are some of the reasons why you should develop your personal brand.

You are already being branded, so take control of it (this is an argument of so many experts, it is almost becoming a cliché; Dan Schawbel started it back in 2009). As a commander of your personal brand, you can make changes real-time. You decide on the best ways to market your brand.[1]

Use of social media is not a white-collar phenomenon, limited to certain education or professional achievement – everyone is using social media

96 percent of people born between the mid 1970’s and the early 2000s use social networks… (based on a video created by Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics).[2]

If you are actively or passively seeking employment, potential employers will search in Google to learn more about you – viewing your digital footprint. The results  of a Google search could include your professional website, social media profiles, contact and background information, and anything you published online. They might find something unsavory (at least in a professional context), such as fun pictures from college experiences. Unlike paper media which can be ripped up and thrown away, online media does not go away – this is another reason why you need to take control of your online presence. The easiest way to get rid of bad content is to publish good content, and get the good content to rank higher than the bad content. Moving forward, you should use discretion when posting material online and make sure it coincides with your personal brand.

According to a survey conducted by Microsoft and Nielson, 79 percent of US hiring or recruiting professionals reviewed online information about candidates. Moreover, 70 percent of the respondents have rejected candidates based on what they found.[2]

80 percent of companies use social networking for recruiting (based on a video created by Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics)[2]

If you are actively or passively seeking employment, you can create a “pull approach” – where you pull potential employers or recruiters to a professional website; you are marketing your personal brand as if you are a product.[3]

Your peers are branding, so you need to sometimes differentiate and sometimes work together. You fit better into your ecosystem when you exude a personal brand.

Personal branding clarifies career planning and development. You demonstrate vision by orchestrating all the different elements of a personal brand.

[1] Schawbel, Dan. “Me 2.0.” Kaplan Publishing, 2009

[2] Salpeter, Miriam. “Social Networking: For Career Success.” Learning Express, May 2011

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