They are digital natives – the generation that has grown up with technology and social media and are much more aware than their parents about how what they post on social media can impact their lives
This generation is the generation that grew up when LinkedIn lowered the age to 13, knows how to network their face off and will document their life online in a way that opens up doors and new opportunities
In this blog we look at a few of the questions around Personal Branding: what it is, why it’s important and how to enhance your personal brand this using social media
What is a personal brand? Do You Have A Personal Brand? What’s the most important part?
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon describes a personal brand as “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”
So in that respect everyone has a personal brand whether they like or not. You can’t opt out of other people perceiving you in one way or the other
A personal brand is what defines us and the intersection is that crossover between what we say about ourselves or how we market ourselves and what others say about us
Ultimately your brand can be good or bad depending on how you treat people
In terms of business this is hugely important as it dictates whether people want to do business with you
In terms of being an employee it could be the difference between being on the top of the list or being overlooked for an all important promotion
A personal brand is something you live and breathe every day for life
It’s more than the shoes you wear, the watch on your wrist or the cut of your suit
It’s your personality and what makes you, you
It’s all about authenticity, so it isn’t something you can switch on and off. It isn’t a stage show and it isn’t one off campaign
Literally a personal brand is from cradle to grave
Is the concept of a personal brand the outcome of the social media / digital age?
The idea of personal brands was 1st introduced in 1937, so personal brands aren’t something that were invented post-Social Media or after mobile phones
But like everything, your personal brand is amplified by social media
The average smart phone user picks up their phone 150 times a day and people are spending hours each day on social media, so social media is massively powerful in putting the spotlight on brand you
Think of your network – you’ll probably see most of your network more online than you do face 2 face
Even not turning up on LinkedIn or Twitter says a certain amount – people may perceive you as someone who isn’t passionate, dedicated or part of the community by your lack of profile
Social Media allows you to get eyeballs, ears and attention at greater scale and ease than ever before
Firstly turn up daily and be that person that looks out for opportunities for others
You won’t enhance your personal brand using social media if you turn up once a week or once a month
You literally have to be all in – you can’t do something as important a social media half heartedly
Social Media is used far too often for broadcasting rather than listening
Simply looking at your Twitter / LinkedIn feed each day opens up opportunities to connect others and share others good news
It’s also important that you regularly produce content that enhances your audience’s life – whether that be a written blog, podcasts or videos
Look at leading business figures such as Richard Branson – they produce content on a regular basis
The anti-personal brand is a brand in itself
Often you’ll find that these leading business figures have a very strong brand and people know instantly what they stand for, what their beliefs are and how they treat people
You can decide to be part of the conversation or sit on the side-lines
It’s really important if you’re a small business owner, specifically in a relatively small community like Greater Manchester to be part of that community in an authentic way
People buy from people is a little clichéd, but it’s true.
What are your lasting tips for creating a lasting authentic personal brand?
Be nice always – 3 words that will serve you well
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Alex McCann is owner of Altrincham HQ – a social media management and training company based in Altrincham, Cheshire that has worked with 100s of local business developing their social media strategy. Alex has 350+ LinkedIn testimonials and is ranked number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex.