POWER YOUR BRAND (1/3): WHAT IS PERSONAL BRANDING AND WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
Updated: Sep 3, 2020
(Article en Français: Le Personal Branding c'est quoi ? Et est-ce SI important ?)
🇺🇸Personal branding, executive presence, etc.... we all hear those words around either we are in the corporate world going up the ladder or having our own business.
But what it is exactly and ... does it REALLY matter? 🧐
WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?
We know what a brand is: there are all the different components that define a seller of products or services. It is the logo, the name, the colors, the shapes, the mission, the words, the style, the mood of a company. Think Starbucks, Chanel, Apple...
It is an intangible asset that is very impacting on the growth of a brand. You can have a great service or product to sell, if your brand is not defined and coherent, you might get weaker outcomes over the competition.
Ok so now, what does it have to with us, human beings? 🤔
Even if we don't have a product or a service to sell, most of us are either growing their career in the corporate world or leading a project in the not for profit environment.. we absolutely all evolve around other human beings that might have the same qualifications or skills. However, each of us has a different mix of skills, experience, energy, attitude, story, personality... and that's where personal branding comes in.
In short, it is your reputation.
And nowadays, a big part of it is.... online.
It is the feeling you leave after a meeting.
It is the energy you convey through your website or your Linkedin profile.
It's how you want to be remembered and known.
It's intangible but paramount when the first contact is in majority via internet.
Have you ever Googled yourself? And Google Images yourself?
Do it. It can be a real wake up call.
THE ONE THING YOU DON'T WANT TO LEAVE AT CHANCE: YOUR REPUTATION.
Imagine this situation (not so uncommon ... at all):
You have been eyeing a great job at a company you dream of working for.
You succeeded to get an interview through a friend of a friend of a friend. You know that first impression matters and you have worked with an image coach, so you refine your speech, you invest in a new suit because... what's a better excuse than investing in getting your dream job!
You print your resume on a nice paper, you give your shoes their polish of the year .. you get the idea.
You arrive at the meeting, all confident, you give the warmest most confident handshake to the interviewer, you seat down and printed in front of that person is .... your Linkedin profile.... with.... your..... holiday selfie on the top that makes you want to cringe in your seat ... and under that 'masterpiece of a picture' is a professional title that even you don't even know what it means and if defines what you want...
Ok, so hold on here: the positive part in that example is that you got the interview and now you have the opportunity to show that person all the other aspects of your personality and experience... but in most of the cases: you will not reach that step because you haven't put all your chances on your side BEFORE. ONLINE.
Your online reputation sets the scene to create offline opportunities.
That's why it matters.
Instead of investing in new clothes trying to get an interview or an important meeting with a prospect, be ahead of the others, and prepare the ground to get your foot to the door. In a subtle but strong way:
Invest in a proper portrait shoot for compelling professional photos of you for Linkedin, for your website, for Facebook, and anywhere you interact online (speaking engagement, guest blogging, internal announcement, etc.)
Invest in a Linkedin Profile coach to help enhance what needs to be put in front of a recruiter or a client's eyes.
Invest in a copywriter to make sure your website message is clear.
BUT BEFORE ALL OF THAT :
HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND?
All the corporate headshots and personal branding portraits illustrating this article have been created by Alice Prenat, professional headshot photographer based in Paris and New York at the studio Portrait Executive.