“Personal Brand is what people say about you when you leave the room,” according to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com.
What is a personal brand? Is it something you create out of thin air? Is it about being famous? And if your answer is NO, you are right. These are some of the myths of personal branding. Personal branding is knowing who you are and making people remember you. It’s about having your voice heard and your words trusted.
Because people want to do business with people, not the companies.
So why is having a personal brand important? “Because people want to do business with people, not the companies”. Ok, what does this mean? Ok, imagine that you’re scrolling through Facebook and you see a bag with every feature that you want in a bag. You click on the link to a website you’ve never heard of. The reviews on the website are 80% positive and 20% negative. Despite being mostly positive, your mind starts to focus on negative reviews. Next, you decide not to buy and close the tab. A week later, your friend is talking about same bag and what they love about it. Would you change your decision about getting the bag? The majority of people would answer yes. The reason is trust. Since there was nobody on the website you know or can trust, you decided to let it go. But when someone you trust interacted with you about the product, your purchasing decision changed. Your friend has already portrayed an image of themselves (their personal brand) in your mind. As a result, you trust your friend and not the company.
Still, it’s difficult to understand what our personal brand is and how to develop it. To help you get there, let’s start off with 3 basic questions:
1. Who am I?
Everything you do builds a ladder to who you are. The things that give you satisfaction, happiness, gratification and complacency define your interests and passions. On the other hand, your background, biography, and the decisions you made will also define YOU. Aligning the past with present will give you a sense of who you are and what you want to do.
2. What do I stand for?
In today’s era, our personal brands also have a digital footprint. Think about what you stand for and how you display that to the world. Every single time you LIKE, SHARE, COMMENT or POST on the internet, you are doing so as a representative of your “Personal Brand”. Whether you like it or not, it is what shapes how others perceive you. Everything you do creates an image of your brand no matter which environment you’re in. Most of us know the anecdote about a potential employer googling a candidate to get a sense of their social media identity. This is one way for them to suss out whether you’ll fit company culture. Think about the person you want them to see when they search your name.
3. What is my story?
Knowing your value proposition and what differentiates you will help you in creating a story. A story that would emotionally connect people with you. The first step in creating a story is understanding things that you are passionate about. Then, let the passion show through your actions and stand as a backbone in your interactions with the professional world. This is essential when drawing up your resume and presenting yourself in a job interview. How did you get to where you are? Why is this job role the next step? Who we are is the result of a journey and we develop every day based on our experiences and outlooks. Having a story helps people relate to you, remember you, and digest something as abstract as identity.
Vocate wants to help you stand out. Stay tuned for more articles about personal brand as well as other career discovery materials. You will also find more resources in the job seeker library!
Cover image: pexabay.com