Why you must engage in Personal Branding to better manage your business
When it comes to Personal Branding, there’s a lot of skepticism out there. The term itself is often misunderstood.
So let’s begin with a quick definition. In a nutshell, Personal Branding means promoting ourselves: dedicating time and attention to ourselves as professionals within a specific industry.
Whether you find the idea intimidating or just bothersome, one thing is hard to deny: We’ve all engaged in Personal Branding. We’ve done it in the past, we do it now, and we’ll keep on doing it. Surprised?
Well, think about it: during an interview, when we’re networking at a conference or fair, when we go to a business lunch, and even during routine office meetings. We defend our ideas and our skills, we make our abilities and accomplishments known, and it’s a totally normal and important part of professional interactions.
But what’s different today? We’re firmly planted in the digital age, which means that we must now build our Personal Brand through new channels of communication (social networks, blogs, websites, articles…)
A common misconception is that Personal Branding is only useful to freelance consultants looking for new clients. While the consulting industry does lend itself very well to this type of activity — a consultant must always be “on point,” and their business depends upon their reputation and network — the usefulness of Personal Branding in no way ends with consulting.
And yet, how many times have I heard professionals from large companies say something like “Personal Branding? I don’t need it, and even if I did, I don’t have the time…”
Alright. Let’s tackle this in order.
“I DON’T NEED IT”: First mistake.
Every professional needs Personal Branding today. It’s a way to instill confidence in your existing customers, helping to reinforce that they’ve made the right choice. It’s also a vital way to garner interest from potential customers who, when decision time comes, will certainly prefer to deal with a recognized expert in the field. Finally, Personal Branding serves to expand your network and further develop your skills… continuing the learning process, which (as you know) never ends.
It doesn’t matter if you sell machines, software, financial products, travel packages, or something else… all customers today want excellence. And if you don’t promote your skills and abilities, who will? And even more importantly, how will customers be able to choose you over your competition and remain confident in their choice—which translates to loyal, long-term customers?
“I DON’T HAVE TIME”: Second mistake.
Personal Branding isn’t something you need to spend hours on every day. You just have to be organized and have a plan. Lucky for us, there are plenty of different free tools available that let us find, plan, and publish interesting and useful content.
It can be enough to carve out two hours during a time that’s convenient—perhaps over the weekend—to sit down in front of your computer and search, comment, write, share. Now, granted, this isn’t work you can bill for… no one is going to pay you for the time you spend on yourself. But just as it’s important that you go to the gym, go out to dinner, or go for a walk with your family, it’s equally important that you dedicate time to yourself as a professional.
Otherwise, you risk dedicating 90% to the company you work for. But you are not the company you work for. You’re a professional who increases the value of the company you work for. Don’t forget it.
The digital world allows us to not only expand our skills, but also to share them easily with other professionals and potential customers around the globe. Let’s not ignore this opportunity out of laziness: let’s take the helm and use Personal Branding to help us reach our goals and have a more fulfilling professional life!
Personal Branding is just one of the topics we’ll cover during the upcoming UNICOMM, scheduled for the 13th, 14th, and 15thof May in Barcelona.