I had a great discussion with a fellow professional on personal branding yesterday and he said something magical to my ears – I’ve got a five-year window I’m working on towards building my personal brand to get where I want to be.
And I thought finally. Finally, someone understands this.
Personal branding is not a short term thing you do when looking for your next job, it’s something you’re always doing. Something you’re always nurturing. And probably the most important thing – it’s something you’re always building with your eyes firmly on long term goals.
Sure it’s not going to take you five years to build a personal brand, but it is the long-term commitment to it that really counts. Personal branding isn’t something you do to get the next job. Jobs come and go.
Personal branding is about defining who you are and what you stand for, and it takes years to nurture and build. I know, I’ve been doing it for a decade and I’ll never stop, because I know it’s the most important thing I can do to build the future I want. Incidentally, even though I’m not looking for one, based on the job offers coming my way, it’s also being recognized as a powerful asset by recruiters. The world is shifting and businesses are starting to understand this new digital world.
Conversely with another friend this week, I gently kicked him in the ass because this time last year he was looking for work and wasn’t having a good time at all. At that time, we sat down and ran through personal branding, after which he got active and was doing a superb job across social media, with a defined and powerful personal brand. But then a job offer came and my friend has gone silent. Not happy Jan!
I cannot emphasize this enough. Building a strong, focused personal brand is the tool of careers today. It’s the tool of building dreams.
More and more it’s also what companies are looking for. And the older you are, the more important it is, as the recruitment focus turns to digital natives versus those of us outside that age bracket.
What do you want to do with your life? Your personal brand is what will get you there.
A personal brand is a powerful investment to make in yourself. It’s why those of us who talk about it are so passionate. We know what building a personal brand means. We know the benefits it delivers. We are experiencing the benefits every day.
To give you a flavour. We are being offered jobs. We are on the radar of head-hunters. We are being asked to speak at big industry events. We are being called on by the media. We are defining the industry we are representing. We are a voice of our industry. We are building credibility in our area of expertise. We are being offered invitations to events because we are seen as an influencer. Some of us are even being invited to jollies – which is nice sometimes too.
This is not time-wasting stuff. I know this because I live and breathe it. I also prioritize it above all else professionally, because I have felt its impact and that impact grows as your investment grows.
I don’t want to repeat myself, so here are 10 blogs I’ve written on this topic that might help
- Where are all the Social CEOs? Not in the Fortune 500 – please review the what you give and what you get section. We’re all leaders today
- Self-belief is the biggest inhibitor to building a personal brand – it is not arrogant to build a personal brand. If you have a mind-set to be of service to your audience Vs telling everyone how fabulous you are, then you will be more successful
- How do you do it all? How do you find the time? Well… Hootsuite – because time is always raised as an issue. Automation and a little organisation helps
- Did Amanda Palmer Write the Business Book of 2015? If you really want to understand the concept of building a tribe – from someone who exists in another world – this is an awesome book and explains how to do it in service to your community
- What is the line you won’t cross with your personal brand? – Integrity is important, what is your line in the sand?
- Birth of a Blogger Part 1 and Part 2 – tips, tricks and where to start if you want to blog
- Maybe Becoming an Influencer Shouldn’t be the Goal? Have a service mentality and watch your profile blossom
- What Have You Given on Social Media This Week? Give give give and you will receive so much, including growing your presence and impact faster
- Blindly Endorsing Your Company is Bad for Your Career and for Your Personal Brand – understand this, you will be called on to be an advocate for your business. It’s fine to do this, but your brand must take precedence over your companies’ brand
- 8 Tips to Build a Twitter Presence From Scratch – an older blog but still relevant. Twitter is critical
I have more, but please remember with all of this – companies are starting to understand that employee brands are MORE important than company brands. If you work for a company, you will be called on to be an advocate for yourself and your business – I wrote about it last week here in Make your employees the stars of your show. If you are an entrepreneur, then it is even more important.
So are you ready? Are you understanding that building a personal brand is what future stars are made of? And are you ready to face the grit and grind required to succeed? Are you understanding that for your next job interview, the person with the stronger brand is going to win?
Trust me. It’s only been in the last 12 months I’ve felt people are paying attention to (and supporting) my stuff on a broader scale. Even in the silence of the preceding nine years, I never gave up. I’m stubborn for sure, but I know this is what the future is all about. It’s about how you present yourself to the world. That is why personal branding is so important.
So get going and keep going. It takes time and persistence to succeed. Whatever you want your future to look like, it is your online personal brand (as well as the offline opportunities that come with building a strong brand) that will get you to where you want to be.
Chase your dreams my friend and put your personal brand at the heart of it. Trust me, no one else is going to do it for you.
Have you made a commitment to doing it? Have you felt the impact? Too early to tell? Let me know in the comments? Or if you’re struggling, tell me why? Maybe I can help.
Think differently photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
You can follow Andrea on LinkedIn, Twitter or on Facebook. Her blog is here. You can follow The Digital Conversationalist on LinkedIn here and this is the Facebook group, where conversation is encouraged. Thanks for reading.