Professional Development

5 Reasons Your Personal Brand Matters

January 26, 2016
personal-branding

For those of you that don’t know, I moonlight as a public relations and digital media professional in my non-hobby time. Therefore, I have some expertise when it comes to the contraption called “social media” that us kids like to use on the interweb these days.

Jokes aside, if you’re someone that thinks social media is the root of all evil then you haven’t done your research. This post is for you.

Before you begin, I’d like to start off with some simple questions:

Are you a business owner?

Are you or have you ever been an employee?

Are you someone who has a passion for something? Anything?

Do you love [INSERT HOBBY HERE] and struggle to find anyone who provides the in-depth information you want?

Are you a person who has likes, dislikes, and sometimes wish you could build a network of other like-minded individuals by sharing about said interests?

All these questions come back to personal branding. So buckle up, as I take you through a quick snapshot of why your personal brand matters.

personal-branding-graphic

1.You already have a brand, whether you realize it or not

Even if you haven’t touched social media a day in your life, you have a personal brand. Do all your friends know you by your love of movies? Are you that crafty do-it-yourself friend with an apartment akin to something out of a Pottery Barn catalog? Can you recite historical dates and events like a Wikipedia search?

The very things that make you you are what provide the genetic makeup to your personal brand.

And what makes a brand successful? That lies in how well it’s communicated. If you don’t communicate, and communicate authentically, then no one will ever know or care it exists.

That’s all that sets a good brand apart from a great one. Remember that.

2. It’s your secret sauce

1 part photography

6 scoops bookworm

7 tablespoons of public relations

4 dash of dog lover

2 drops of a consistent battle toward equality

17 parts social media

3 parts board member

1 cup of Netflix binges (a week)

3 pinches of fighting the status quo

7 helpings of extreme Type-A tendencies

Mix these together and what do you get? Voila, Greg Rokisky! Hey, that’s me.

What does this weird metaphor mean? Your brand is your secret sauce, your own unique recipe. No two will ever turn out the same, but the ingredients are universal and provide areas of similarity to form bonds and connections with people from all over.

What’s your recipe? Include them in the comments below!

3. It gives you a HUGE professional edge

This point applies to both sides: the already employed and those seeking employment.

For those that currently have a job, you can leverage your brand as an extension of your company’s brand. The more established you are in your own brand, the more you help diversify your company’s reach and attractiveness. Now, of course this fluctuates in all careers but a lot of the times you can capitalize on your secret sauce to help better your company. At the end of the day, your image is an extension of your daily performance.

And if you’re on the job hunt, your secret sauce could be the thing that makes or breaks you.

Take this example: you and Susie Q are the finalists for the same job and the hiring managers are in love with both of you. Your education, skills and personalities are equally as impressive. What Susie Q doesn’t have is a personal blog about her hobbies outside of work, something that you’ve been working on for just over a year and can talk about in your sleep. The hiring manager shares the same passion with you, and can see your dedication to this and realizes you will put the same passion in your work if given the job.

Outcome: you’re hired.

Bottom line: Your personal brand matters.

4. It’s fun!

While I would be remiss to leave out maintaining your personal brand is a lot of work and requires a significant amount of dedication, it’s also a lot of fun.

Managing and communicating your personal brand means telling the world about what makes you tick, your passions that get you out of bed each day and your path you’ve traveled to get where you are right now. It’s also the place where you can be honest about your struggles and vulnerabilities and find a network of like-minded people to support your life journey.

Being thoughtful about your brand forces you to take time to reflect and improve upon yourself each day, growing toward your best version of yourself.

If that doesn’t sound friggin’ awesome, then I don’t know what does.

personal-branding-building

If you don’t build your brand, someone else will.

5. If you’re not managing it, someone else is

This final point is probably one of the most important, and one that will reel in any skeptics up until now.

The first point demonstrated everyone has a personal brand whether they realize it or not. So that would lead to the conclusion that even if you choose not to develop and manage your personal brand, it leaves the opportunity open for someone else.

Or some people.

Think of it in this way: If you aren’t at least doing the daily minimum of letting people know what you’re up to these days, people will fill in the blanks for for you. It’s just the world we live in.

So why not face the hashtags, and get in front of your brand. Before people get a chance to gossip about your latest life event, throw up a blog post that strategically talks about your experiences that allow people to relate and learn from.

Do you owe this to anyone? Absolutely not.

But don’t do it for the haters. Do it for yourself. Get your thoughts and feelings out there and maybe someone going through a similar series of fortunate (or unfortunate) events can reach out and either provide feedback, provide support or even learn from your experience.

While many people feel that digital media has ruined society, I think that it’s a gift that has connected us to a point once thought impossible.

Call me an optimist, but life’s too short not to be.

So there you have it. We all have a personal brand. You now are left with the decision of what to do with it. And don’t let this overwhelm you. Start small. Starting is the first and most important step.

What’s your next step?

Did you like this post? Well, then get ready for a great surprise. I’m going to be launching my first ever blog series in the first half of this year! Every Tuesday for a whole month get ready for posts on managing your personal brand! I’ll go through blogging, social media, networking and more. So stick around, keep your eyes peeled for some hands-on training opportunities and get ready to rock your personal brand!

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