Many people have questioned the need for personal branding. Is it worth all the effort? Is it only for celebrities? How does it relate to the job search? When we analyze the use of branding by public figures and corporations, it is evident that they successfully manage to appeal to us by developing an ongoing relationship with us. They become experts in their fields as they’ve been able to associate themselves with human needs and wants by utilizing media strategies. When you think luxury and mobility, perhaps you think BMW or Mercedes. After you have finished a long workout, and you are looking for something to “quench your thirst” perhaps you think of Gatorade. When you think of Donald Trump, you think of extravagance, as he has attached luxury to almost any product by simply putting the TRUMP name on it. When you think of Oprah, you think of honesty and openness, which has enabled her to increase sales of almost any product by simply recommending it. So what do people think when they say your name?
If you cannot answer this question then you have an ineffective brand. But don’t worry, not all is lost. The internet has provided people with the ability to create a brand just like Oprah, Donald Trump, BMW, Mercedes, and Gatorade all within the budget of the average Joe. In the past, you needed millions of dollars to market a brand because the only outlets where high-cost forums, like television or magazines. Now with the internet and social media, the only cost for marketing a brand is your time.
The internet and social media have also made it increasingly important to brand yourself or your company online. The competition for jobs has become more intense over the years. Not only as the job competition intensified locally, but with the emergence of globalization, job seekers are now competing with people in China, Mexico, India, and other developing regions. The increased supply of workers is forcing job candidates to become experts in their fields if they want to stand a chance at gaining employment.
Discover your brand: The biggest mistake that people make is branding themselves just for the sake of branding themselves. You need to brand based on what your passion is. Think about what you want to do for the rest of your life. Set goals. Think about a personal branding statement: what you do and who you serve.
Create your brand: This means getting business cards regardless if you are a college student or CEO. Make sure you have a great resume that showcases your accomplishments. Develop a blog or website and sign up for LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Align your wardrobe to suit your personal brand. The clothes you wear are becoming increasingly important because they will be viewable through your online pictures, which will reinforce your brand. Do not underestimate the power of an email address. Your email should be listed as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become a networker: The size of your network will be a major factor on your ability to get jobs in the future. The Internet has made your personal network visible for the first time in history. Companies can view your social accounts and find out how connected you are. How many Facebook friends do you have? How many Twitter followers do you have? How about your Linkedin contacts? How many people are currently subscribed to your blog? The people with the largest networks are going to get the jobs because networks illustrate the ability to build relationships, which could be vital for the jobs that candidates pursue.
Good luck developing that personal brand and remember to inspire for only the best!