Let’s face it — there are a lot of people out there going after the same opportunities. Whether someone is on the Internet, at a conference, or at the office, you want your reputation, work and all of the aspects of your self-presentation to make you stand out from the crowd. In the short-term, it will get you into a lot more conversations, which will open doors. In the long-term, it will put you in front of the right people for new job and connection opportunities.
Regardless of the situation, if you want to have an impact and make your voice heard, you need to stand out. Creating a personal brand means that you have something to support and accentuate who you are and what you do. Whether that means content people can find on the Internet before they meet you in person, what you have with you when you meet people, or the ways they can keep up with you after a meeting, standing out means that you consistently differentiate yourself in an attractive way by your self-presentation, your work, and your follow-through.
In the office
If you are employed, you want your boss to know your name and know what it is that you are about. And whether you like it or not, you’re constantly making the case for why you should be kept on the job over someone else. If you’re not employed, you’re making the case for why you should be given the chance at a new job over a crowd of other people.
Getting a job
Your personal brand is a lot less developed in a job interview than it is when you’ve been working in the same place for a while. However, it’s also all you have to show, besides possibly an example of your work. As a result, your personal brand can be even more important for landing a job than building your brand is once you have a job.
However, the brand you present at a job interview is a lot easier to forge, though your actions once you get the job can change that brand and even work against the frame you’ve set. Your potential employer doesn’t know much about you yet so you can quickly present an appealing brand that’s likely to get you the job.
Selling yourself to clients
Potential clients have frequently heard about you before they meet you. Usually, they have heard about you through mutual acquaintances, through the media, or through the Internet. What they’ve heard, and thus how they view you, is based largely on what brand you’ve promoted through these mediums.
Sometimes, you’ll find potential clients who’ve never heard of you. These clients’ perception of you will be based on what brand you present to them, and if they talk to other people about you then this brand will spread to them. They’ll also want to verify your brand by checking other sources, most notably the Internet. As a result, shaping your personal brand in a consistent way across different mediums both online and offline means that you will put the right brand forward, and have the presence, history and reputation to back that brand up.
What is Personal Branding?
by Jim Kukral & Murray Newlands
Murray Newlands is the CEO and Founder of Influence People, a San Francisco-based online marketing and blogger outreach consulting firm. Jim Kukral and Murray Newlands recently wrote “What is Personal Branding? How to Create a Memorable & Powerful Brand that Sells YOU!” to help people learn how to market themselves.