Most entrepreneurs understand the importance of branding when it comes to business. Building a well recognized and respected business brand adds tremendous value and can create a significant competitive advantage. So why, then, do so many entrepreneurs fail to recognize the value in building an equally recognized and respected personal brand?
Personal branding, or the practice of individuals marketing themselves and their careers as brands, may seem to many an exercise in vanity. Doing things to promote yourself, such as having a personal website, a portfolio of professional headshots and an on-the-go personal pitch, is often considered the routine of self-interested people, from well-known celebrities to the annoying co-workers who boasts about themselves non-stop.
Done properly, however, a personal brand can be much more (or less) than just self-promotion. It can be a personal — and private — exercise in establishing confidence, credibility and courage as well as help you define priorities and focus on those aspects of your life you enjoy most.
Personal branding is not necessarily about self promotion and being ubiquitous. Instead, a personal brand helps you define who you are and the type of person you want to be. As an entrepreneur, a well-defined personal brand can also assist in establishing your leadership style and establish how you want to be known both in and out of the workplace.
In fact, there are a number of reasons why understanding and building your own personal brand, regardless of your profession, can add tremendous value to your life. A well-defined personal brand allows you to:
- Identify how to showcase your best self.
- Understand your strengths and weaknesses.
- Stand out from your peers and competition.
- Build your “tribe” (others who share the same values).
- Be human and have more meaningful interactions with others.
- Establish credibility.
- Demonstrate your value through your actions.
- Elevate your social proof.
- Solidify your niche.
- Convey your message and values.
- Be more confident.
Moreover, it is important to understand that everyone has a personal brand, whether you want one or not. It is defined by everything you do, from what you wear to how you compose emails to how you conduct yourself on the phone.
If you are not taking control and managing your brand, that means others are doing it for you.