What is Personal Branding – is it worth it?

In Be Your Own Brand, first published in 1999, marketers David McNally and Karl Speak wrote: “Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you.

According to Wikipedia, Personal Branding is the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands. It is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual, group, or organization.

Personal branding has gained significance due to the use of the Internet, as social media and online identities affect the physical world. Individuals who wish to present themselves in a certain way to their social group may work to maintain an online identity, which may not always be representative of one’s self.

We see celebrities and athletes building a particular brand with the use of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, etc. Building a personal brand is a big part of their life, and it can help them spread awareness and also provide an outlet to connect with their fans/supporters. This is made possible through the use of social media and the ability of the person looking to build a personal brand to make their messages heard. The theory of self-presentation looks at how people look to create an identity for themselves that they would like to be seen as in the public eye.

There are many examples of celebrities building a brand for themselves over some sort of social media platform. In fact, it is rare to see an athlete or celebrity without a social media page whether it is twitter or Instagram. Celebrities use these outlets as ways of branding themselves, by showing people their lives and having fans feel close to them, almost like they are friends, and have a connection through social media outlets such as Twitter and Instagram. Also, to keep more of their fans interested, and to reach as many as possible many celebrities will update daily on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat so their message can be seen by a wider audience. They can keep fans informed on everything from what they want to wear, to their political views. Social Media has provided a simple way for celebrities to get their personal brand to reach a wider audience, and they utilize the ‘front stage’ to influence people in a particular way and to make themselves look good in the public eye.

Nowadays, It has been seen that employers are increasingly using social media tools to vet applicants before offering them interviews. Practices include searching an applicant’s history on sites such as Social media and conducting background checks using search engines and other tools. This leads to the decline of resume-only job applications in the coming future and favoring of other forms of personal branding. These may include links to a professional profile (such as LinkedIn), a personal blog or a website. These efforts may improve a person’s chances of obtaining a job.

In short, we can say that Personal branding is the need of the current era. If you are not building your brand then you will be left behind in the race.

According to Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, by Al Ries and Jack Trout.

“You can benefit by using positioning strategy to advance your own career. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Find a horse to ride“.

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