Turning Trends into Traditions with Personal Branding
Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You… – Tom Peters
Two concepts have gained amazing popularity and importance in the last few years: Personal Branding and Personal Marketing.
Defining oneself as a “brand” is not easy to embrace but the truth is that, in terms of physical, emotional and intellectual, we are all unique and carry with us a specific set of characteristics that make us who we are and differentiate us from one another. Just as brands are people, people can become brands.
But first let’s understand what these two concepts really mean.
Personal Branding is the process of creating a personal brand. This is the internal phase in which we need to carry out a certain analysis of who we are, where we are and where we want to be in the future. What are our skills, what we have to offer, how we define our personality, what drives us to do what we do. Having all these figured out will help us define a goal, and the strategy to go after that specific goal to make it happen.
Personal Marketing is all about the strategy and tools that you will use to promote yourself. Social networking sites are great for building relationships, growing communities, sharing our stories, showcasing our strengths in the areas and topics that we want to be known for, and nowadays there are many ways in which this can be efficiently done.
The labor market has become very competitive and dynamic making it harder for people to get spotlighted. But thanks to this, marketing has become even more attractive in terms of creativity; we need to work harder and use all our talent in order to reach a specific audience with clear-cut content and tools, that could lead to the reaction that we expect.
With the propagation of social networks during the last decade, we have been slowly stepping into the public arena, sharing our thoughts, likes, ideas, moments, and life experiences. Once we decide to sign up on a specific networking site, we agree to give away our anonymity. How public is your profile will solely depend on how much information you are willing to give away. But this is good as long as we keep our most private information out of the Internet.
Do we all really need to be on the Internet?
The answer is personal, but the suggestion is yes. There are still many people, and companies that are skeptical of the real value of social media promotion, but the trend started years ago and it will only keep evolving. Communication nowadays is faster and closer thanks to technology, and we all want to be kept in the loop. It is difficult to keep track of everything, but at least we have the option of being informed about the relevant things that are taking place according to our topics of interest.
Trends turn into traditions.
In the past, having a website could be a luxury for some small brands or stores but now, a website is the main business card. Almost everyone will look up information on Google about a specific person, product, brand or service before making the decision of establishing a business relationship or purchasing a product, and the least they expect to find is a website. Any other type of information such as reviews, opinions, social media channels, advertising, articles news, etc., is a huge plus.
The trend of being active on social networks is also becoming a tradition. When we visit a website we want to find out how “social” a brand really is. And this is where the so-popular “influencer marketing” steps in, in the form of likes, shares, comments, ratings, rankings and engagement with solid communities and audiences.
These traditions are applicable to personal and professional profiles as well, but the other way around. In this case brands will Google professionals, looking for compelling information that will help them make the decision to hire or contract services from them. Even though they don’t expect to find a personal website, which could be an advantage in terms of image, they at least expect to find a relevant profile on LinkedIn. Plus being active on your main areas of expertise on any other social network could really make a difference.
The laws of attraction apply to love and business, and at particular moments in time. Finding our perfect business match is within our hand’s reach. All we need to do is define an open, yet effective communication style online to connect with the world.