What is a Personal Brand and Why You Should Invest Time in it
When people think “personal brand", they often think social media. But at the core, we all have a brand. Online and offline. It’s what your family, your significant other or your closest friends think of you. What do people associate you with?
In the same way we see the Nike swoosh logo as an icon representing greatness in sports, performance, pop culture - people associate you and your name with something. It’s your reputation.
The great thing with social media and the state of technology we live in right now is the ability to build and extend that brand at scale. People don’t necessarily need to have a 4 hour face to face convo with you anymore to know about your persona and what your skills are. They can check your profile on social media and if it’s properly setup, they get a good sense of the things you’re passionate about and the topics that interest you.
Building a personal brand is about telling the world who you are and what you stand for. It’s about sharing your passion, establishing your area of expertise and drawing the right people into your tribe.
Whether it’s a post on LinkedIn, a Story on Instagram or a tweet on Twitter, your voice is something worth investing time and resources on.
Here are 3 reasons why building a personal brand online is important:
1. It helps you get more opportunities in less time
Social media is word of mouth on steroids. If you genuinely do good work, talk about what you love and showcase your projects, you expose yourself to hundreds or thousands of people that are potentially on the same journey or industry as you. You never know which business executive or client might stumble onto your work and reach out to you for a new venture. You’re effectively selling without selling. The personal brand does it for you because it helps you build trust and credibility so quickly.
2. It helps you go niche on what you love
You know that weird thing you might really like but none of your friends and fam really get? Maybe you love a very particular cartoon from the 80s or a raper from the 90s and you don’t get to talk about it that much with your direct circle. Maybe you love film photography from a rare Kodak model and would like to connect with other likeminded artists to share the beauty of the process. By using the right hashtags, you get to reach a subset of people who are already interested in what you’re about. Creating consistent content around that niche helps you forge meaningful connections with people that also love what you do. Your ideal people start to find you.
3. It gets you quick feedback
The great thing about social media is the direct response you get from your audience. From a marketing perspective, these are great platforms to see what type of content performs well and what approach generally captivates the attention of people. This feedback can be translated into real life insights to shorten the learning curve when you’re selling your skills, services or products.
Having a personal brand is not about becoming a social media influencer or Instagram famous. It’s about telling your story and through that narrative, reaching the right people in a cost and time effective way.
A parting caveat to keep in mind: be careful not to tell a fake story! The things you say and show should be true to you. As there is only one thing worse than being hated for who you are: it’s being liked for who you’re not and having to live up to that.