Oprah Winfrey is a household name today. As the host of the top-rated, award-winning Oprah Winfrey Show, she made it acceptable for famous people to have meltdowns on her couch.
As the creator of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, she crafted a personal brand that transcended all boundaries of age, gender and culture to impact people all over the world.
Today, she’s one of the most respected and admired public figures of our time, thanks to her accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist.
Steve Jobs was a brand apart from Apple and Pixar. He was the design guru who coined the slogan, “1000 Songs in Your Pocket,” when he introduced the original iPod to the world.
Elon Musk created a brand as a visionary entrepreneur who disrupted numerous business models, from online payments (Paypal), to space travel (SpaceX), energy (Solar City) and transportation (Tesla).
Kylie Jenner leveraged her personal brand to promote her cosmetic brand, Kylie Cosmetics, and become the youngest self-made billionaire. Say what you want about the Kardashians, they are experts at cultivating fame and cashing in on it, says an article in Vox.
But these celebrity personal branding examples are not the only ones who need to create a personal brand. With the economy being what it is, creating a brand for yourself has become essential today.
What Personal Branding Is NOT
Personal branding is not about being a narcissist or about bragging. It’s not about deceiving people or exaggerating your abilities and achievements.
What Is Personal Branding?
It’s about conveying to your audience exactly what value you have to offer them.
Personal branding involves telling your own story about how you solved a specific problem in your life and how you can help them solve the same problem on the basis of the lessons you learned and expertise you acquired along the way.
Your expertise and knowledge showcased as your personal brand, is what differentiates you, helps you stand apart from the competition, and gets you noticed by those who matter, whether they are your clients or your employers.
An authentic personal brand showcases your unique characteristics and positions you in the mind of your clients and employers just like a product or service.
As the Web becomes increasingly social and the power of personal branding grows, it has become essential to brand yourself and socialize your brand. In the digital world, the importance of personal branding online cannot be underestimated.
As former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, observed, the Internet is becoming a breeding ground for false information but trusted brands help weed through the disinformation.
So, whether you’re a freelancer, consultant, coach, trainer, author, speaker, or CEO, digital personal branding is essential for anyone who wants to run a business online.
7 Benefits Of Personal Branding And Building A Brand Online
In this article, I list 7 benefits of personal branding to help you understand why personal branding skills are essential, whether for building a business or getting a promotion at work.
1. Personal Branding Can Build (Or Destroy) Trust and Credibility
What makes a person’s reputation so important? Because it creates trust and credibility, both of which are essential to give you an edge over your competitors.
The “Know, Like And Trust” factor is very important in helping your employers or clients become more comfortable in dealing with and doing business with you.
It goes without saying that people are very unlikely to purchase anything from someone they don’t like or trust unless it is their last option (and even then, some people won’t go for it).
As an example of how badly a personal brand gaffe can affect your business brand, consider how GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons’ video that shows him shooting an elephant caused a public outrage that made them lose numerous customers.
PETA, the animal rights group, closed its account with GoDaddy and asked others to follow suit.
On the other hand, if you create an authentic brand and have a good reputation, the opposite will pretty much happen. Instead of seeing you as a last resort, potential customers are actually going to make you one of their first choices, if not the top one.
2. Being The ‘Real’ You Matters
In print media and on social media, fans love people who are ‘real’ and authentic and are not into sales talk or corporate image building.
When you want to create a personal brand, make sure it represents who you really are, because you can only fake it for so long.
Your personal brand is what sticks in your audience’s minds, not the products and services you offer. Here are some of the best personal brand statement examples from famous people:
I’m lucky enough to get to work with great people and focus on some of the toughest problems the world faces.
Things like developing low-carbon and cheap energy sources, improving global health for the world’s poorest, and working to find the best ways to improve our education system.
I’ll share notes on Facebook about great organizations, ideas, and events that are helping us make progress. Join us to get involved, learn more, or add your thoughts and perspectives.
Thanks for stopping by. Bill Gates.
President Bill Clinton:
After a career in public service, I’m enjoying life as a private citizen, continuing my work in the areas I can have an impact on through my foundation, including global health, economic development, climate change, and the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States.
I started the Clinton Global Initiative to bring together global leaders in business, philanthropy, and civil society to take action on pressing global challenges.
In my free time, I help out where I can to assist people affected by natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami in South Asia.
When I’m not travelling, I enjoy spending time in my old farmhouse with my family in Chappaqua, New York.
Writing a personal brand statement is an essential step to authentic personal branding.
Download my free personal branding worksheet for writing a personal brand statement and creating a brand identity that reflects your authentic personal brand values.
3. Increase Your Perceived Value
When you’re seen as a key player in your field, it raises your value in the eyes of your audience.
Because people respond emotionally to brands, having a well-known brand and a name in your industry allows you to command premium rates for your services.
Famous personalities like Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, and Ralph Lauren, to mention a few, have applied the principles of personal branding to their advantage and have built businesses worth millions of dollars.
Closer home, we have famous women like Ekta Kapoor, Shahnaz Husain, Ritu Beri, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Naina Lal Kidwai, and Barkha Dutt, who have become household names and built successful businesses and careers for themselves.
4. Sharpen Your Edge and Shine
Your personal brand helps you stand head and shoulders above the competition by showcasing your unique offerings.
Justin Bieber is the epitome of the successful personal brand. He was discovered by a talent scout on YouTube and became an amazing success.
This young boy had savvy marketing skills and/or people in his organization that have catapulted him to the top of the social media empire.
His Twitter account has six million followers! The account executives of Twitter say that he takes up a whopping 3% of their servers daily just to handle his active account.
What does Bieber do right to promote his brand? He engages in the conversation! He doesn’t just “post and ditch” as some political figures do.
He actually asks his followers and fan group, “The Beliebers,” how they are doing. He cares and shows it. Daily communication and tweets keep his brand at the top.
You can take a page out of Justin Bieber’s book for building your personal brand on social media.
Demonstrate your expertise, show where you shine, position yourself apart from the rest of the contenders and carve out your own special niche in the marketplace.
Another way that your personal brand can help you shine is because branded searches provide a strong ranking signal to Google’s search algorithm.
The more traffic a website gets from branded searches, the more it will be recognized by the algorithm.
“With a brand name that is unique, memorable, and keyword-focused, you might just rank among the giants of SEO with far less work,” says Neil Patel.
Neil also recommends that if you want to succeed on Google in the long run, you have to build a brand. As your brand grows, your search traffic will as well.
5. Control Your Image and Reputation
Who is controlling your image and reputation? Is it the media, random commenters, or is it you? Your personal brand IS your reputation.
When you take control of your image and handle your own branding, you can deal better with attacks on your reputation and handle negative comments made about you with authority and speed.
When you create a personal brand, you become a public persona and anything you post in public is fair game for reuse elsewhere.
The rule of thumb is, “Never post anything on your public profiles that would make you cringe if you saw it in the headlines tomorrow.”
Follow good social media etiquette and keep things positive. That’s not to say you shouldn’t state your opinion about things that matter at all. But you can put always put a positive spin on things.
Showcase your unique personality, but always consider how your actions will look to your fans and a larger audience, should it get shared elsewhere.
6. Build Buzz Around Your Achievements
As your name and achievements get passed around by happy customers and fans, you’ll attract more business and opportunities through referrals.
If you brand yourself well and have a loyal following of friends and fans online, you can get a decent amount of buzz going. If you do it right, your branding can create a snowball effect that attracts more attention as it travels.
Richard Branson created a huge amount of buzz for the Virgin brand through achievements like crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a hot air balloon called the ‘Virgin Atlantic Flyer.’
Branson also has no qualms about performing outrageous PR stunts like dressing in drag, driving a tank down Fifth Avenue, or bungee jumping off Las Vegas’ Palms Hotel Casino, all in the name of promoting the Virgin brand.
Thanks to the internet, you don’t have to kite surf with models (unless you choose to) or risk life and limb crossing the Atlantic to create buzz for your business.
You just have to start a blog or a podcast, guest blog on other websites, get interviewed by other bloggers and podcasters, and send out press releases when you have something newsworthy to announce.
In 21 Days To A World-Class Personal Branding Platform, you’ll get a step-by-step roadmap to take you from having no digital footprint at all to a well-established online presence.
Download my free personal branding worksheet and write a personal brand statement and personal brand identity that reflects your authentic personal brand values.
7. Create More Professional Security
If you’re a freelancer, consultant, trainer, coach, author or coach, personal branding is a key element to survival in the marketplace.
When you have a personal brand, you become irreplaceable. You will get called on to speak at events, consult with companies, train at conferences and work with big brands.
So just how do you get started building your own brand? Take a look at other successful personal brands in your industry and get a handle on what makes them tick.
Follow the big players in your industry on social media or check out their bios or websites. Analyze their branding process and ask what sets them apart from the rest?
What are they doing to create that aura and what is their brand message? How do you feel when you read about them or visit their social profiles?
Check out all the different methods and practices they follow to create their personal brand and learn from them in building your personal brand. You don’t have to become a replica.
You need to have your own unique brand persona and identity, but you can use their success as an example of how to build a personal brand and take some tips out of their book to build your brand online.
It may help to have a personal branding coach or consultant who is an expert at online branding strategies and can teach you how to create a personal brand online.
If you need a road map on how to brand yourself, check out my Personal Branding Course for self-branding ideas and personal branding tips for building a brand online.
You’ll learn how to make your own brand, create a personal branding strategy and a personal brand website, and get personal branding tips for social media.
You’ll also get a step-by-step game plan to build a world-class personal branding platform, and learn personal branding steps and activities for brand management.
Priya Florence Shah is the publisher of Naaree.com and the creator of the course, 21 Days To A World-Class Personal Branding Platform. Download her free personal branding worksheet for writing a personal brand statement and creating a personal brand identity that reflects your authentic personal brand values.
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