This is not a new concept but it has gained in popularity with the rise of social networks. Personal branding is your brand image, particularly online.
Who hasn’t googled a future contact, manager, supplier or co-worker? Who hasn’t come across photos of an unsuitable, or even private, nature?
This article will help you get to grips with your brand image; build it and manage it to filter what people can see, what they remember about your image even before meeting you.
Jeff Bezos (founder and CEO of Amazon) says, “your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room”. The same applies to you!
Branding for all!
You do not have to be well-known, famous, the CEO of a multinational company or a singer to work on your brand image. On the contrary, it is unbelievable that in 2016 some people have an online presence which is poorly managed or not managed at all!
It is true that the objectives of a brand image are different for a CEO, a job seeker or a student however, brand image management affects everyone.
Creating a brand
There are several prerequisites, several rules to follow:
- First and foremost, demonstrate your authenticity by presenting coherent opinions, attitudes, and content
- Be clear (in your tone, your editorial line) so that what you write is accessible to all readers.
- Be unique when choosing a tone, a method of discussing visuals which differs from what you read, from those you follow
- Get involved in commenting, sharing and interacting with your community in order to remain connected and therefore visible (on your own terms) and attractive
Why? Visibility 2.0!
Nowadays, consulting profiles on social networks (Linkedin / Viadéo / Branded.me) is THE instinctive reaction for many people.
You certainly need a good quality professional photo and a clear and comprehensive employment history, but don’t forget that – to name just one network – LinkedIn is also a terrific platform for content via posts and Pulse (see Be Inspired - Janvier 2016).
The first response to, “Why should I do it? ” could be as simple as: because no one will do it for you!
Others could include:
- To be seen as a potential employee, manager, influencer or partner
- To enhance your reputation in a skill set or sector
- To share your personal vision for the company and your areas of expertise
However, take care not to confuse differentiating yourself/making a name for yourself with drawing attention to yourself. In this case, the content you post is particularly significant.
- Be what you post: it will be very easy for your contact to identify a personal brand which is well-constructed but… meaningless!
- Your photo should look like you, your qualifications and employment history should be genuine, and lastly and most importantly, your opinions and comments must reflect the ‘real you’, otherwise you risk disadvantaging yourself at interview and/or in the initial discussions you have with your team, your manager or your colleagues.
A rather revealing test: type your name into Google and see what comes up, in terms of links, images etc.… Are you comfortable with it? Is that the image you want to convey?
- Being present and connected may not be enough to build your personal brand. Indeed, brand content is as important for a company as it is for yourself. Writing articles (on a blog, forum or social network) and taking photos/videos says a lot about your favourite topics, your skills, your ecosystem.
Here, all the steps are shown in an infographic (via conseilsmarketing.com).
An unexpected benefit: by managing your personal branding, by sitting down to define your brand, you dare to talk about yourself in a positive light and that is important for your self-confidence.
Count how many times you answered “yes”
The Aressy magazine (winter-spring 2016)
First step to build your personal brand
The Brand News Blog
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