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The importance of personal branding cannot be overstated...

During my two-decade-long career, I worked with several HNWI, serial entrepreneurs, government representatives and celebrities with different backgrounds, nationalities, and career levels, but their objectives were the same – to lift or rebrand their personal brands. When it comes to any form of public appearance, personal branding plays a significant role and that’s to stand out from the crowd. To do that, we need to have a strong recognition with a key message. Your personal brand is the image which includes your skill set and the reputation that you create for yourselves. It’s a lifelong project with many ups and downs, but regardless of the situation, keep on going. The goal is to build a legacy which represents the keywords or actions that we will be recognised for in the future.

The crucial factor is understanding that a personal brand should be defined by any person who strongly focuses on building a career, business, and public presence as it has an influence on their future success. The first impression when it comes to any form of communication always plays an important role with either online or offline meetings, along with digital presents including voice notes, posts content all together how we dress, talk, and behave.

The importance of branding in the digital world cannot be overstated. Nowadays, consumers are met with choices and a strong brand can make all the difference. It not only allows you to stand out from the crowd but also creates trust and loyalty among your customers. The ability to present a certain image on social media platforms and public speaking to a group of colleagues for many is an extremely challenging experience and that’s why we all need to learn to be a master of our craft.

In today’s world when it comes to entrepreneurs and employees, the ability to build personal branding became one of the strongest assets required by the market. As we all know, marketing is one of the biggest costs for most businesses, if we have this ability to build a trustworthy brand across our name, we are on the right track for a successful story. The HR teams always search for future candidates on social media to have a better understanding of their profiles and their future position in the company. LinkedIn provides the access to +750 million professionals and it’s becoming a significant strategic tool for employers to encourage employees to share content on their personal channels as it has highly engaged results and gives strong credibility to the business.

Are we fully aware of what we communicate and what kind of brand image we create for ourselves?

The way we see ourselves is only 40% – 50% accurate to how we are perceived by others, so we need to be aware of what kind of message we send out there to the world.

Having said that, branding is a lifelong project with several falls to be expected along the way. First of all, we have to picture ourselves as public figures and prepare marketing strategies to deliver the results which we plan for. Secondly, we should define the way of communication – which for personal branding delivers the strongest results such as the writing content and videos. Another important part is the content, which should be built across our skills, knowledge, and professional achievements. In addition to that, we should be able to look at ourselves from a different perspective and be as objective as possible since emotions often take the lead.

Something we could consider is professional consultation or simply asking colleagues for feedback to have additional perspectives on how our profile has been seen by others, especially for those who started for the first time or requested rebranding.

The Journey

Whenever we start something new, we are on the highest level of motivation. With personal branding, we need to give some time to see the results with all challenges on the way, and simply keep going. There’s an importance of authenticity and consistency that must take place across our social media platforms, together with the implementation of online and offline content, which is crucial. We all follow a number of accounts on social media, and there are always reasons why we check them out on a daily basis. One of the top factors is curiosity all together with updates of the latest information, product launches, education, lifestyle, and celebrity drama like the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial, which was watched daily by millions of people according to BBC News.

The ability of storytelling has a positive impact that is considered as highly engaging content and a true narrative, which will strongly support your brand’s growth in the long run. Considering the number of social media platforms, we should think about at least two channels in order to reach a different audience, and at the same time to understand which content and tools work best for our brand awareness and engagement. Social media has been considered a free-of-charge platform, however, we should keep in mind that building the brand is an investment. These platforms are algorithms driven and make us work for them on daily basis. Basically, if you don’t post, your engagement drops and if you don’t boost your posts, you might not reach the expected results. We should consider this as a business agreement where both parties need to benefit from each other.

A few years ago in London, I had the pleasure to work with one of the very successful serial entrepreneurs in the IT sector. After he received funds for his massive tech project, the investors and shareholders pushed him to start working on his personal brand. For someone who has already been in the business for15 years and had a great understanding of the market rules, it should have been a straightforward process. However, it took him 2-3 months to process the idea and another 3 months to start for myself and the team to execute a communication strategy, which was comfortable for him and satisfactory for the investors. This story shows that sometimes we must come out of our comfort zone in order to succeed.

Personal branding masters

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room,” said Jeff Bezos, who built his business and personal brand in a classic American dream way.

This famous quote represents the whole work behind your personal brand which builds the legacy around your name. Personal branding masters such as Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk worked for their brands for many years, and are considered some of the greatest examples to learn from. We can observe a very different story and strategy behind their personal brands, however, the common elements are the motivation and “never give up” factor which keeps them going every single day. When it comes to personal branding, we are not looking for perfection as being imperfect is a part of human nature. The personal brand should be authentic, those who we admire and highlight as examples represent a journey with many challenges on the way.

When we look into our personal brand, let’s be aware it’s a lifetime project, a journey not a destination, and we should all learn how to enjoy the ride.

Written by: Margaret Herde