When anyone talks about “personal branding”, you probably think first to a major speaker or thought expert – Tony Robbins, Jasmine Star, Dave Ramsey – and how they portray themselves through social media and their events. Very few people think about their own personal branding, and honestly, that’s a big mistake whether you’re an employee or a business owner.
Branding Isn’t Just for Businesses
In today’s world of social media and the power of the story, branding is becoming far more personal, and that extends to you.
Take us for example (not to brag, seriously): here in our local community we’re pretty commonly known as the Hexcode Girls (thanks to Mandy Sterling!) and we’re fairly well known for being inseparable. Within just a few short months that female-power duo became a huge part of our reputation, and really your reputation is just your brand. It separates us from other companies because that’s one thing that’s highly unique about Hexcode Designs. As people have gotten to know us, our individual brands have built up. While we’re part of this dynamic duo, we have been careful to craft and create our own personal brands. Using LinkedIn, our blog, and our social media (including Instagram & Facebook), we’ve developed the Hexcode Designs brand and the brand for ourselves, too.
When someone is interested in working with you, whether a potential boss or client, they are most likely going to do some research on you. While everyone’s probably been warning you for years that you need to be careful what you post on social media, it’s still very true. What you post is what they see, whether that’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even your personal blog that you haven’t posted on in 5 years but it’s still out there “just in case”. Take some time to comb through it and ensure you’re happy with the story you’re telling. If not, start using that delete button!
Professional is Becoming Personal
Think about it this way – professional associations are becoming much more personal. People want to know who they are working with. They’ll look you up online, talk to mutual friends, and ask around town about you and your reputation. We hammer on constantly to our clients and here on this blog about how people want to know your business’s story, because they want that personal connection with you. It’s honestly the same concept with you. They want to know who you are, what your values are, and whether or not you would all get along together.
No matter who you’re looking to work with – whether you’re wanting to apply for a job, go out networking, or even build up your client list – everyone is taking notes on you. Think about who you’re wanting to work with, whether that’s a dream company to be hired to or dream client, and make sure your personal branding is consistent with who you are and the vision of yourself that you’re wanting to portray.
At the end of the day though – be authentically you. The worst thing is to attract the wrong kind of employer or that wrong kind of client because you’re not being you. You’ll all just end up miserable that way, and honestly, who wants that? Being authentic means you might be careful still about what you post, but you don’t want people to be confused about where your morals and values lie either. Focus on telling your story, in a positive way, and you’ll find that you start to attract the people you want to work with, too.