Whether you like it or not, you have a personal brand and you’ve been building it for years. How, you might ask? Well, every time you’ve posted a Tweet, a Facebook post or even a video on TikTok, you are building your brand and this is unknowingly influencing other people’s perception of you.
If you were to Google yourself, what would pop up? Would you face-palm as you’re greeted with a stream of embarrassing photos from nights out? Or, would you find a feed of carefully curated posts that you wouldn't mind showing your employer? It’s always vital to keep this in mind when you’re posting content on social media, as it’s going to be the first thing someone sees when they look you up online.
And, let’s be honest, who hasn’t Googled a potential employee or even a date before asking to meet them in-person?
This is why personal branding matters.
What is a personal brand?
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, summarized personal branding perfectly when he said: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Put simply, your personal brand is how you look, how you speak and how you act. It’s a brief indication of who you are and a snippet of the performance, contributions, and value you can bring to the table. So, with all of this in mind, the content you post on your social media profiles is also a representation of who you are, or at least, how you want to be perceived by the world.
Right now, take some time to think about what people would say about you if they were to sit together in a room and talk about you. Would they say something positive, like “they’re helpful and friendly”? Or, would it be something negative like, “they’re so lazy and pessimistic, I don’t like being around them.” If you don’t like what they have to say, then it’s up to you to take control of the narrative and create a personal brand that you think is most representative of who you are as a person.
When most people think of branding, they think about it in terms of businesses. But, with the recent boom in social media and sharing our lives online, personal branding has become a big part of all of our identities and how you present ourselves to the world. Just think about influencers, for example – they have built a career on creating their own personal brand and are now profiting off it.
Why you should care about your personal brand
Whether you’re a job seeker, an employer or just someone who wants to clean up their image a bit on social media, personal branding is more important than ever.
When you’re applying for a job, your personal branding is the key differentiator between yourself and other candidates, so it’s your time to shine. Showcasing your personal brand attributes in your resume will make it stand out from the sea of almost identical resumes companies receive every day, so you can secure that interview over the rest of your candidates. In fact, 70% of employers have confirmed that they use social media to screen applicants during the hiring process, so it’s your opportunity to show you’ll also be a great culture fit for the business – which is just as, if not more, important than ticking off everything on the job ad.
This may seem like a stretch, but the same analogy can be applied to online dating – it’s your personal branding that will encourage someone to not only swipe right on your profile, but to also reach out and contact you. So, this only exemplifies why personal branding is not only important for your professional life, but also your personal one – as it could be holding you back from finding love.
How do you define your personal brand?
If you’re not sure how to define your personal brand – and believe us, you’re not alone if you’re struggling with this – then we suggest your talk to your friends, peers and co-workers to find out what they have to say about you. Ask them to define you in a couple of words, or a sentence. You might be surprised by what they say.
Then, keep their input in mind when building your personal brand. Think of a statement that authentically resonates with your voice and character, while aligning it with how you would like to be perceived by other people. It doesn’t hurt to have aspirational people in mind, like that of Oprah Winfrey or Richard Branson, who have both made a career out of developing their personal brands to inspire people. But, word to the wise: always ensure you’re true to yourself, as people will see right through a false online image.
If you’re struggling with your personal brand, you’re not alone. Your personal brand is a lifelong project that constantly evolves and changes, and even the Oprah Winfreys of the world have had some help building their brand. Just know that you don’t have to do this alone, if Oprah can enlist some help with her personal brand, then so can you. There are a plethora of tools out there to help you build and maintain the kind of online image you have always wanted, from brand monitoring to social media scrubbing tools, like LifeBrand.
Find out more about how LifeBrand can help you to build your personal brand by detecting and deleting harmful posts from your social media today.