Why Personal Branding is so important today?

Whether you know it or not, you have a personal brand. When you Google yourself, what pops up? These results are the first impression people will have of you. 

Is it a good one? Is the information you are sharing across LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media sites consistent?  Whether you have a date or a job interview, chances are someone is going to Google you to learn more about who you are. 

The question is, do you want to allow your online reputation to take on a life of its own or control the narrative? With the proliferation of social media and the gig economy, it has become essential for everyone to embrace personal branding.

What is a personal brand?

A personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. It is how you present yourself to the world. Effective personal branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust with prospective clients and employers.

Why it’s more important than ever

Whether you’re an employee or entrepreneur, cultivating a personal brand has become more important than ever. One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. Another reason personal branding is valuable is that the gig economy is not going away anytime soon. The average person switches jobs every 2 to 3 years, and by 2020, freelance and contract workers will make up 43% of the workforce. 

As a result, workers need to be able to clearly communicate who they are and what they do to stand out to prospective clients and employers. If you aren’t effectively managing your online reputation, then you run the risk of losing out on business.

Examples of personal branding masters

Developing a great personal brand doesn’t happen overnight. It’s imperative to be able to communicate your purpose and mission to your audience in a genuine way such as:

Oprah Winfrey: Oprah is undoubtedly the queen of personal branding. She is continually building equity in her brand which has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, according to Forbes. Oprah has always stuck to her core competency: challenging millions of viewers to live the best lives possible by understanding their potential. By being true to herself, she has inspired millions to be their best selves.

Richard Branson: Richard Branson is undeniably one of the most visible, successful, and well-known men alive. He has continually stayed true to his core values, including adventure and risk-taking. By being himself, he has often done exactly what other business leaders cautioned against, including crazy publicity stunts like dressing as a flight attendant for a competing airline. His unorthodox style and commitment to his passions have helped him create a powerful personal brand. Branson says, “Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust.”Whether you’re looking for a better job or more sales for your company, personal branding is more important than ever. You don’t need to be Oprah or Richard Branson to have a great personal brand. It’s just a matter of continually crafting and curating your digital presence and most importantly, keep it real! Your honesty, transparency and authenticity are what will differentiate you in the long-run. You never get a second chance to make a first impression—make it one that will set you apart, build trust and reflect who you are.

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