When it comes to personal branding, celebrities seem to do it best.
We see them and read about them everywhere. This creates a connection and builds what we know as celebrity status. In business today professionals can create a similar connection with prospects by developing their personal brand.
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
-Tom Peters, In Fast Company
In fact, if you are not developing a brand for yourself you could be losing out in a big way.
Dan S. Kennedy, the Godfather of Direct Marketing, goes as far as to say, “The simple truth is, if you aren’t deliberately, systematically, methodically — or rapidly and dramatically — establishing yourself as a celebrity, at least to your clientele and target market, you’re asleep at the wheel, ignoring what is fueling the entire economy around you, neglecting development of a measurably valuable asset.”
The idea of a personal brand may be a new concept to some people. In many cases, it may be hard to see how branding yourself can help your business, however, once the concept is understood it becomes clear why it is so important.
How are you different?
One of the greatest benefits of personal branding can be separating yourself from your competition. You may offer the same service as 200 other people, but how and to whom you offer your services can shape your niche. This allows you to be the person that has exactly what your client is looking for.
Your personal brand identity.
This is how you want to be perceived by your audience. You have control of your brand identity; this is what people find when they look you up. Brand identity is shaped by what you say and what you do in video, audio, print, and any other mediums. A good brand identity will be mirrored by your actual brand image.
Your personal brand image.
This is what your audience actually thinks about you. A goal for personal branding is being known for who you are as a person. Your brand image is a reflection of what you stand for, what you stand against, your values, opinions, and beliefs as well as your abilities.
A strong personal brand gives you an authority position. This position in your marketplace is attractive to clients as well as other opportunities. When people understand your knowledge and your purpose they can then decide to trust you.
“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you”
– Zig Ziglar
Everyone has a personal brand whether they are working at it or not. The impression one leaves on their audience can be positive or negative, depending on what their colleagues, prospect, and clients find online. Every professional has control over the message their audience receives.
In essence, personal branding helps professionals leverage their knowledge and establish authority in their marketplace. This authority positioning can go a long way in amplifying their message and converting prospects into higher paying customers.