What Is A Personal Brand And Why Does It Matter?

A strong personal brand is the key to success in today's competitive environment. This article will discuss what a personal brand is and why you need one.

Build your own brand, What is a personal brand and why does it matter, Pirimo, Esra Koc, Pirimo

Creating a brand is a challenging but necessary process when advancing careers and positioning oneself to communicate effectively.

We often take great care in cultivating our image. We make sure the people around us see us in the best possible light and present ourselves in a favorable way that represents who we are and what we stand for. Our brand is essentially our image and reputation in the personal and professional world.

What is personal branding?

Developing your "personal brand" is something you often hear about, but do you really understand what personal branding is?

It's not always a simple concept to understand. Your brand is how you present yourself online and offline, and it's what people think of when they hear your name. It should accurately reflect who you are and what you do, portraying a combination of values, strengths, passions, interests, and characteristics. It’s up to you to identify your qualities and characteristics, integrate your value proposition in everything you do, and communicate a crystal clear, consistent message across multiple channels designed to resonate with your target audience.

In short, branding is an exercise in perception management. It’s about managing the gap between how you are perceived and how you want to be perceived.

What is the difference between branding and marketing?

One thing that confuses people is that branding and marketing are not the same. Branding is more about who you are and what you stand for, while marketing is a more active effort that contributes to your brand.
Simply put, branding draws people in, while marketing is a push to reach people.

Why do we need a personal brand?

Now that we're clear on what a personal brand is, you might be wondering why you need one. Developing a personal brand may seem like a lot of work, so if you don't understand the benefits, it can be hard to justify putting in the effort. Below are some key reasons you should develop your own unique brand.

•    Control over how you're seen

Personal branding gives you control over how the world sees you. In today's environment, it's more important than ever to be able to present yourself at your best. If you don't have a personal brand, others will create one for you without your input or control. By developing a personal brand, you can ensure that people see you the way you want them to.

•    Your brand helps set you apart from the competition

In today’s environment, it is critical to stand apart from the crowd. You are no longer competing on a local stage.
A personal brand is also a great way to establish yourself. In a sea of resumes, it can be hard to differentiate yourself from other candidates. A strong personal brand can help you be authentic and shine to make sure people remember you. From your LinkedIn profile to your resume, a personal brand will help people understand what you're about and what it's like to work with you.

•    A strong brand generates referrals

People love to tell others about the brands they like, tend to do business with, and are familiar with. People wear brands, eat brands, listen to brands, and constantly tell others about the qualities, services, and people they love.

A good brand will have no trouble drumming up referral opportunities. Strong branding generally means you leave a positive impression on people; they are likely to do business with you because of the familiarity and assumed dependability of using a name they can trust. Once a brand is well-established and easy to recognize, it can help people feel more at ease in seeking your contributions and services. Word of mouth will be your best and most effective communication technique.

•    Creates trust within the marketplace

A brand’s reputation ultimately boils down to the amount of trust that people can have in it. Your brand represents your promise to your audience and yourself. A good brand will always tell people what they should expect—and hold you to—when they work with you. And a great ancillary benefit of that promise is that it keeps you honest with yourself.

•    Your brand helps you create clarity and stay focused

It’s very easy to wander around from idea to idea without guidance, and it doesn’t take long to unintentionally stray away from your original goals or plans. A clear brand strategy helps you stay focused on your mission and vision. Your brand can help you be strategic and guide your communication efforts, saving time and money.
Branding helps generate chemistry for your entire profile. It helps people understand what you’re like to work with and how you make things happen.

Once you tell someone who you are, you’ve also implicitly told them who you aren’t. And, when it comes to positioning yourself to win, that is often much more important.

Brand identity becomes your purpose statement, your positioning statement, and your north star. It becomes the thing you can always fall back on whenever a “great new opportunity” comes your way.
Does it align with who you are and what you promise your audience they can expect from you? Anything that doesn’t line up to a T with that can safely be ignored and discarded. It doesn’t matter how great your brand may sound, as it’s not actually great if you can’t stay on target.

•    Become more than a mundane transaction

When you engage with a person who is well-branded, there is just a “feeling” that comes over you. Everything clicks. 
In the world of business, working solely off of “transactions” is equivalent to digging your own grave. It’s a guaranteed way to get lost in the shuffle and to make sure your future emails go unopened and future phone calls go unanswered.

Having a memorable brand with a story that is easy to tell and retell to others assures your service or contribution will not disappear into Transaction Land.

•    A well-defined brand will guide your communication

Let’s move on to how a strong brand can make your communication more efficient. 
Knowing what kind of person you are or are not going to be, having your story in place, and targeting your audience’s expected emotions will result in a natural yet dramatic improvement in your communication efforts.

Without a strong, clearly defined brand, it’s impossible to know what to say to people or how to say it.

Branding can change how people perceive the value of your contributions. It can drive new opportunities, but it can also do the opposite if done wrong or not at all. Branding is an essential part of marketing yourself. By taking the time to develop a personal brand, you can ensure your audience sees you the way you want them to and effectively position yourself in your field. Building a personal brand allows you to control how the world sees you and showcases your unique qualities, characteristics, passions, and values. A personal brand is essential for anyone looking to build a successful career or business, so if you haven't already developed yours, now is the time to start.

The result of the branding process is the brand, which incorporates the reputation and value that comes with it.

Get your brand straight. Put in the effort to really understand your audience and their emotions, and then use that to guide every possible future touch point. The return on investment will show itself sooner than later. Stop the bleeding.

 

Esra KOC
Business Executive on Corporate Communications | Public Relations Executive | Publicist
Esra Koc can be reached at [email protected].