“Personal branding was popularized by Tom Peters. This American author and expert in management practice emphasized the creation of a well considered image by managers, which would yield not only a growth in authority and better results, but would also allow them to climb the corporate ladder.” (Peters, 2003). Previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, while the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.
It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have.Your reputation online, and in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level." - Gary Vaynerchuk, digital entrepreneur
Personal Branding = Personal Success
To be clear, this is not to say that people haven’t branded themselves since the beginning of history, just that it is a fairly new and specific strategy in modern day consumerism and marketing. You can see the success of the application of this concept has had by taking a look at the career of the current President of the United States.
One main takeaway before you build your personal brand: Your personal brand is you. So we suggest, if you haven’t already, find and accept yourself before you try to find your personal brand!(:
The Internet Expands Personal Branding
The real expansion in personal branding was made possible by the Internet, which gave rise to the need of managing one’s online identity. Further development of personal branding came along with the rise of social media, which created great possibilities for the distribution of virtual identity and using it to sell products or generate income.” [Mateusz Grzesiak Personal Brand Creation in the Digital Age] Personal branding isn’t just for entrepreneurs or small business owners. We actually believe it is important for any professional to maintain a clear, credible, consistent, and differentiated personal brand. The rise in the use of LinkedIn has created a great source to house your personal brand. Keeping you LinkedIn updated and remaining active on your account is a very beneficial way to keep your personal brand circulating.
Personal brands are not just for entrepreneurs or small business owners either. Anyone can have a personal brand, and if done properly will help benefit you in every business related aspect of your life. It will help you stand out at job interviews and make you more recognizable and memorable. No, you don’t need the full branding process and all of the brand visuals that a company would need. But having a consistent look and feel to your representation as a professional will make you more effective.
Authenticity cannot be faked.
Branding is a very intricate and on-going process. If you have the team and skills, you can do your branding in-house. However, for most cases we would recommend looking for outside help. You can look to large advertising agencies if you need more corporate-style branding, however be prepared for the large fee that comes along with traditional or larger agencies. Utilizing the design technologies within programs like adobe suite, using direct communication through social media, and with available and relevant research online, modern branding does not have to require the costs or timeframe it had required traditionally. We do not recommend putting an entire branding project in the hands of one individual, or picking parts of branding to do without the others. Branding is a full process and each aspect of that process and your brand’s identity are detrimental to the success of your brand.
No matter what business you are in, you need a brand. Whether you are a business with under five employees, a corporate conglomerate, consumer or B2B company, or an independent entrepreneur, artist, or craftsperson… if you want customers, you need a brand. It will make your marketing campaigns run much smoother, it will give your consumers something to remember you by, and it will set you apart from your competition and bring you new business before you can realize it.
Keep coming back to The MEP for weekly posts and updates about branding and other modern marketing tactics. Check out the links of available resources within this portal to further your education on branding and expand from those. And if you are considering creating a new brand or re-branding your current and have further questions or concerns, feel free to give The MEP or Dolo Digital a call or email and we will schedule a free consultation to help you with whatever you need. Or if you are an Asheville native, visit the Resources page for local services that can help you.