Everyone is talking about 'personal branding' all of a sudden. Why do you think that is?
On the chart above you can see a steady increase in interest since 2007... And I don't see this changing anytime soon. In fact, I reckon it could be due for a bit of a spike.
Before I go much further though, I think it's important to briefly outline what I mean by a 'personal brand'.
To me, a personal brand is simply what people think of you.
So we all kind of have one already... It's just that the majority of us don't cultivate them.
To go deeper though; they're the collective voice of all your social media channels, combined with your face-to-face interactions and any content you create.
I launched my own personal brand, Super Logo Boy, last year... And already, it has allowed me to give up my day job and follow my dream of working from home making logos for cool and interesting people.
But that's enough about me... Here are the 3 great reasons why YOU should create a powerful personal brand too:
1. Focus on self improvement
Unless you want to stay static and continue doing what you're doing, then you need to constantly get better.
What a personal brand allows you to do is define your goal and to track your progress.
This goal is then your 'North Star', guiding the way to go.
You can share your knowledge with your audience to create a community of people who look to you as an influencer in your chosen area.
If you put in the work, you can raise your profile enormously.
As the old saying goes: 'That which is measured, improves'.
2. Stand out from the crowd
Gary Vaynerchuk says 'When everyone else zigs, you should zag'.
I know it's scary to go against the grain, but sometimes you should trust your instincts.
I'm not saying that you need to go as literal as Gary suggests. But you need to give people a reason to remember you, and approaching things differently can be a great way to do this.
Even if you don't want to start up a company or go freelance; creating a personal brand in 2016 can still be a benefit to you.
When you go for a job nowadays, chances are your potential future employer is going to be doing a thorough background check on your social media activity. Assuming this comes up clean (you either pass or fail) then they will be looking for other ways differentiate the candidates.
Then on your CV they see that you have a website where you write about industry-relevant topics.
You review books and comment on emerging ideas and issues. Imagine the person you're competing against for the role doesn't have one. Who do you think will be favoured?
3. Tell your story
Again, 'story telling' is bit of a buzzword at the minute.
The term is banded around with little explanation. But what does it actually mean?
To tell your story, in the context of personal branding, is to show the authentic version of you.
Social media is a showreel of people's best bits... If you are authentic, show some humility and even a dash of vulnerability; you will gain the trust and attention of the people you are targeting.
Showing the human behind the brand is vital. That is what social media allows us to do.
So why do this now?
Well, I think the best answer to this is because it's never been easier.
You can create a website for next-to-nothing and set up social media channels to share content with huge numbers of people in an instant. Why wouldn't you?
Now is the time to land-grab. Set your stall out and start to build your tribe. It may not be something you feel the need for immediately. But I think your future self will thank you for doing it.
If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave a comment below or send me a message here.