GM BUSINESS connect
Personal branding: an insight into branding yourself Over the Summer I talked to over 1,000 teenagers about the importance of Personal Branding.
crossover between what we say about ourselves or how we market ourselves and what others say about us.
These are digital natives - the generation that has grown up with technology and social media and are much more aware than their parents about how what they post on social media can impact their lives.
Ultimately your brand can be good or bad depending on how you treat people.
This is the generation that grew up when LinkedIn lowered the age to 13, knows how to network their face off and will document their life online in a way that opens up doors and new opportunities.
In terms of business this is hugely important as it dictates whether people want to do business with you... or In terms of being an employee it could be the difference between being on the top of the list or being overlooked for an all important promotion.
In this issue we look at a few of the questions around Personal Branding: what it is, why it’s important and how to enhance your personal brand using social media.
Q: How does a personal brand differ from a CV?
Q: What is a personal brand? Do you have a personal brand? What’s the most important part?
A personal brand is something you live and breathe every day of your life.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, describes a personal brand as “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
It’s more than the shoes you wear, the watch on your wrist or the cut of your suit.
So, in that respect everyone has a personal brand whether they like or not. You can’t opt out of other people perceiving you in one way or the other. A personal brand is what defines us, and the intersection is that
A CV is just a list of factual achievements on paper. It’s quite sterile and to the point.
It’s your personality and what makes you, you. It’s all about authenticity, so it isn’t something you can switch on and off. It isn’t a stage show or it isn’t a one off campaign. Literally a personal brand is from cradle to grave.
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Q. Is the concept of a personal brand the outcome of the social media /digital age? The idea of a personal brand was first introduced in 1937, so personal brands aren’t something that were invented post-Social Media or after mobile phones. But like everything, your personal brand is amplified by social media. The average smart phone user picks up their phone 150 times a day and people are spending hours each day on social media, so social media is massively powerful in putting the spotlight on brand you. Think of your network - you’ll probably see most of your network more online than you do faceto-face. Even not turning up on LinkedIn or Twitter says a certain amount - people may perceive you as someone who isn’t passionate, dedicated or part of the community by your lack of profile. Social Media allows you to get eyeballs, ears and attention at a greater scale and ease than ever before.
and share others’ good news. It’s also important that you regularly produce content that enhances your audience’s life - whether that be a written blog, podcasts or videos. Look at leading business figures such as Richard Branson - they produce content on a regular basis. Q: Some leading business figures, say “no” to a personal brand. Are they right? The reality is these people have a personal brand whether they like it or not. The anti-personal brand is a brand in itself. Often you’ll find that these leading business figures have a very strong brand and people know instantly what they stand for, what their beliefs are and how they treat people. You can decide to be part of the conversation or sit on the side-lines. It’s really important if you’re a small business owner, specifically in a relatively small community like Greater Manchester, to be part of that community in an authentic way. People buy from people is a little clichéd, but it’s true.
Q: How can Social Media specifically help build your personal brand?
Q: What are your tips for creating a lasting authentic personal brand?
Helping others and great content help you become the go-to person in your industry.
Be nice always - three words that will serve you well!
Firstly turn up daily and be that person that looks out for opportunities for others. You won’t enhance your personal brand using social media if you turn up once a week or once a month you literally have to be all in - you can’t do something as important as Social Media half heartedly. Social Media is used far too often for broadcasting rather than listening. Simply looking at your Twitter/ LinkedIn feed each day opens up opportunities to connect others
Alex McCann Altrincham HQ www.altrinchamhq.co.uk