Are Personal Brands The Future?

Are Personal Brands The Future?

Large organisations know the importance of having a strong brand – they spend millions on it. A prime example is a certain fast food chain that has a logo resembling golden arches. McDonalds have got it down to a tee. Their brand is so strong that you don’t even need to see the name to know who it is - and even toddlers are adept at spotting one of their restaurants a mile off.

Now we’re being told that we all need to create our own personal brand. Really? Is that even a thing? Yes it is, and if you’re thinking about looking for a new job or going for a promotion, it might be more important than you think.

 

What is a personal brand?

In simple terms, it’s how you present yourself to the world. It’s your online reputation. The majority of us are on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, which means that much of our life is now documented and out there for people to see and comment on. We publish our achievements, vent our anger and even let people see us behaving badly.

That’s fine if only your friends and family are watching. But what if a prospective employer or your MD is checking you out online too? These days if you apply for a job, it’s not unusual for an employer to do a quick online search to see what the all-powerful internet throws up. If they don’t like what they see, that could be your prospects down the drain.

So now you’re sitting up and taking notice. Don’t worry - you don’t have to spend big bucks to create a strong personal brand. Just follow our top tips and you’ll be able to present a polished and professional brand to the world.

Build a strong online presence

  • Employers will expect to see you online – it’s such a big part of networking and communication today that they may find it strange if you’re not. Or they might just assume that you haven’t got to grips with modern technology.
  • Start by Googling yourself and see what comes up, then look at your social profiles and make sure everything is up to date. Add a professional photo rather than the Star Wars pic you’ve currently got up, and try to keep everything consistent across all the various platforms so you’re instantly recognisable (remember the golden arches).
  • When it comes to Facebook, look closely at your settings and filter who gets to see what. It’s fine for your mates to see you dancing on the table in a pink wig, but is that really the lasting impression you want to give a prospective employer?

Don’t ignore LinkedIn

  • This platform is becoming more and more powerful as a recruitment tool. In fact some people are even saying that one day it will replace job boards and CV’s. It certainly feels like employers are increasingly networking online and remembering people they have shared online conversations with or who have been very vocal in communicating their views about what’s going on in their industry.
  • If you set up a profile on LinkedIn but haven’t been back since, it’s time to give it a kick-start. Spend some time adding in your employment history and start connecting with colleagues past and present. Then search for groups in your industry to follow and join in their conversations. That’s the easiest way to build your brand and let people know who you are and what skills you have.
  • You’ll find many companies will post links to their opportunities here and check out your profile if they think you might be a good fit for their company.

Be fabulous, not fake

  • There’s no point in trying to establish a ‘fake’ brand just to impress people. You’ll never manage to sustain it and it just won’t come across as honest. Your brand should be a reflection of who you are and what you believe in (without being overtly political or forceful) and a showcase for your strengths.
  • If your brand is believable and approachable, people will want to engage with you and be interested in what you have to say. And they’ll be more likely to feel that you’re the knowledgeable and trustworthy sort of person they want to work with.

Stay ahead of the game

  • It’s important to demonstrate that you’re up to date with what’s happening in your industry – and that’s no mean feat when things change so quickly and move at such a fast pace.
  • Spend time reading any interesting articles you find and share these within your network. You can also comment on what others are posting and start a discussion with contacts in your industry. People will soon see you know what you’re talking about and respect your knowledge and opinion.

Branding is the future

There’s no doubt that what goes online, stays online. So think carefully about creating your own personal brand so it can work for you rather than against you. Happy branding!

Check us out online

We’ve got nothing to hide, so feel free to check us out online, whether FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn or give us a call on 0800 092 1985 and we’ll be delighted to help you. And when you place an order, you’ll get to see our brand in its full glory, splashed across our delivery vans.

Posted by Paul Randall
15th December 2015