There’s no denying the importance of personal branding. After all, branding is largely responsible for the message your name (and face) transmits to the world. Because of this, it’s vital that your brand is built on authenticity and engagement, rather than half-heartedness and complacency.
For many up-and-coming entrepreneurs, consciously making an effort to build a personal brand takes a backseat to other items on their never-ending to-do lists. In their minds, personal branding will take care of itself.
Simply put, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. As Stephanie JoAnne, an online business mentor for modern-day entrepreneurs, says, “You need to know that everything you do, both intentionally and not, contributes to the way others are perceiving your personal brand.”
Whether through social media, influencer marketing or some sort of media outreach strategy, personal branding is an active endeavor. Still need some convincing? Below you’ll find four hard-hitting reasons to give your personal brand some time and attention.
1. Sales is a human-to-human endeavor.
There’s no greater tool in a salesperson’s arsenal than trust, especially if your business makes its money on the internet. But how does an entrepreneur go about building that trust? Personal branding.
It’s imperative to understand that sales is a human-to-human affair. Though tools such as IFTT, Buffer and MailChimp help automate important sales processes, you must present your most genuine self to connect with people on an emotional level.
Whether you're connecting eye-to-eye, voice-to-voice or merely message-to-message, peel back the curtain ever so slightly. It might not provide an immediate marketing return, but it will get other people to help you build your brand.
2. You are the media.
Thanks to blogs, podcasts and social networks, you don’t have the option to sit idly by and wait for others to mention your brand in the media. Yes, PR still matters, but many companies today are media companies first and money-making entities second.
Think about it: Red Bull is a media company that just so happens to sell an energy drink. GoPro is a media company that just so happens to sell action cameras. Believe it or not, even Charmin has quickly made a name for itself as a media powerhouse.
Branding certainly works on a macro level, but it works on a micro level, too. Your personal brand matters. To strengthen it, recognize that you -- not that team of interns you recently hired -- must provide value as an active media member to make people remember your name.
3. There’s too much noise to be conservative.
Thanks to the internet's sheer volume of content, it’s easy to get lost in the noise. That's why you have to make a good first impression, whether trying to get an Instagram user to stop scrolling past your content or convince a search algorithm that you’re a uniquely valuable resource.
4. You're always branding yourself.
This is the most important point. As of 2017, you no longer have a choice about personal branding -- the world is far too connected for you not to be transmitting some kind of personal message with your actions.
If you decide not to actively participate in the betterment of your industry, people will take notice, and their professional opinions of you aren’t likely to be favorable. Without control of your personal brand, your image stands on shaky ground.Invest in your brand. That way, you not only invest in yourself, but also in the people you lead and the organization you represent.