What Is Personal Branding? A Beginner's Guide

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August 6, 2021

What Is Personal Branding?  Did you know that nearly 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years? After ten years, this number increases to 65%.

Starting a new business or climbing the corporate ladder is hard work, to say the least. Maintaining that success and positive reputation can be even more challenging.

As far as individuals go, your boss may look to hire younger and cheaper employees. Regardless of whether you are a business owner or a rank-and-file employee, personal brand is everything.

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Read on to answer the question, "What is personal branding?" and to explore topics such as reputation management and self promotion, guaranteed to help you find success.

What Is Personal Branding?

Before creating your own personal brand, it's imperative you define it. A personal brand is what people think of when they see you or hear your name.

For those with a strong personal brand, others think of that person’s strengths or positive characteristics. In short—your personal brand is what you excel at.

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Perhaps you're an exceptional public speaker or you provide excellent customer service. By consistently excelling in these arenas, people naturally associate your name with a positive image.

The same can work in the opposite direction if your personal brand has a negative connotation. Those with a bad attitude or poor work ethic ultimately develop a negative personal brand.

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If this is the case, people may hear your name and instantly dismiss you as a below average worker. This affects your promotability or potential for success in a significant way.

In a digital world, a personal brand means everything to job prospects and career growth. Before hiring you, it is highly likely that an employer will look you up. Be it on social media or Google, employers want to know what prospective job candidates are really about.

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This is why it's crucial for you to focus on your personal brand. Carefully crafting your image both online and in-person is crucial to reaching your potential.

Is Personal Branding Necessary?

Some people question whether personal branding is necessary. They might believe in old-school thought processes like word of mouth. However, the truth is that your prospective employers, spouses, and customers are searching for you online.

Consider these stats: roughly 70% of hiring managers do a Google search on you before your first interview. Nearly every customer is searching for business reviews and referrals online. About 3 in 5 single people look up their dating partner online before going out.

The answer to whether personal branding is necessary is an resounding YES. Without a positive online presence, you risk losing out on opportunities for employment and new customers.

How to Develop a Personal Brand

Now that you understand the necessity behind strong personal branding, it's time to develop one. For starters, ask yourself what's important to you. What are you trying to accomplish as an individual or business?

The answer to this question will guide your brand development. You should also think about what makes you proud in your career and personal life.

Every brand is representative of a set of values. You should make your values clear when writing a profile or creating an "about us" page. This is your opportunity to convey to prospective clients and employers what you're about, and why you're the ideal choice.

Remember to tell online viewers what sets you apart from the competition. Why did you get into this business or career field in the first place? What makes you unique and the obvious choice?

How to Enhance Your Personal Brand

Now the burning question: how do you enhance your personal brand online?

The answer is simple. Self-promotion is the key to growing your brand.

You want to be active on social media, the internet, and any other online communities available. All online activity should highlight your positive attributes or anything else that creates a positive buzz around your qualifications.

For example, let the digital world know that you were the recipient of the "Employee of The Month" award three months in a row. Don't be afraid to let your personal success be known.

If your business surpassed $1 million in sales for the year, shout it from the digital rooftops. It's possible to remain humble while letting the world know about your success.

Another key step is maintaining professional relationships and work partnerships. This is critical for growing your professional network. The individuals and businesses that you work with are the messengers of your brand.

They're the ones that share your positive content and refer you out to others looking for a product or service. The likes, shares, and retweets are a big part of enhancing your personal brand.

You should also find ways to promote your value online. Use your online space, whether it's a blog or social media, to show prospective clients and employers what you can do for them. Highlighting the value you bring is a certain way to enhance your brand.

What Is Reputation Management?

When your reputation and brand are imperative to your success, it must be protected at all costs. Unfortunately, there are people out there rooting against your success. Your failure opens an opportunity for their business or career climb.

It's not uncommon for competition to extend beyond the sales desk. Your competitors may seek to disparage you online. The goal is to damage your personal brand and ultimately do harm to your business or career path.

This is where reputation management steps in. The goal is to control content and only highlight favorable information about you online.

A reputation management company is going to offset undesirable search results about you or your business. Instead, they use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to steer web traffic towards positive content.

Additionally, a third-party reputation management company can suppress negative information. They optimize search results to emphasize positive information instead of on any negative stories. Lastly, this service includes removal or tracking of any threats or risks to your online reputation.

Are You Ready to Develop and Maintain Your Personal Brand?

You now have everything you need to start developing your personal brand. While development is an essential early step, maintaining that brand is equally important. One negative news story has the ability to ruin all your hard work.

The good news is that reputation management services can prevent that from happening.

Contact us today to learn more about our reputation management services and let's build your brand together.

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