Why is Personal Branding Important?

Posted June 17, 2021 by Alyssa Stahr

Brightly Creative has a very important word in its title. Yes, we’re a bright group both in mind and heart, but we are also a creative triple threat: noun, adjective and verb. 

One of the brightest — pun intended — times we shine is when we solve problems for our clients. One aspect of that is building something from nothing, including branding. Thought leaders, influencers, testimonials, etc. all do just that; they influence the masses to take in the brand. And, with the course shifting to the proverbial Wizards of Oz coming out from behind the curtain, being the face of the brand is more important than ever before. 

Building a Personal Brand

How can you teach new business owners or entrepreneurs who have a great idea or an already established brand to use personal branding to strengthen their consumer brand? First, let’s take a look at some goals that the owner/operator may want to achieve. Personal branding may be used to either open or strengthen ties to the community, to establish credibility to tell an authentic story, and, of course, to convert into sales.

Can you think of a company that has a face to its organization? That number has grown exponentially over the years. Your company brand and your personal brand should be synonymous, making brand building something that the buyer will remember and something that you control. The perfect marriage of the two is about optimizing the power of the employer brand and the power of a personal brand. When employees become online advocates for their company, and companies allow their people to have their own brand too, true magic happens. The employer brand reinforces the personal brand and vice versa, creating a situation where essentially employees are walking testimonials through their behavior on and offline. They become the “faces” of the employer brand promise. Building a personal brand will differentiate you from the competition, give a foundation for the future and give a clear mission.

How Should You Start — Or Refocus?

If you are going through a brand building exercise with an owner/operator, the first thing they need to do is to figure out the “why” or what fuels them. Maybe they want to help their family, or they want to help create work-life-balance for their employees, perhaps they have a true love for all people, possibly they really love a cause outside of work or they really want to support your community. Whatever that “why” is, you need to help them figure it out first so they have direction and it can be interwoven into their goal for this campaign.

Next, take the owner/operator through an audit of their assets, which include social media pages; websites; organizations, activities and clubs. Then, take a self-assessment to satisfy the personal brand side of things. First, have them look in the mirror. Do they like what they see? Have the owner/operator Google themselves. What comes up? Encourage your owner/operator to un-tag themselves from unsavory photos. Have them take down anything that could be considered offensive, and make sure that all of their profiles are complete. Make sure that their profile pictures are recent, flattering and consistent in what they aim to convey. Help them to articulate their “why” through content and images. Is there an aspect of anything they’ve done in the past that could contribute to cancel culture? Whether we like it or not, it’s a fact of today’s marketplace. Don’t let a tweet from 2010 crush your dreams and your livelihood.

Achieving Short- and Long-Term Personal Branding

Once your owner/operator has identified where they are in the past and present time, it’s time to take a look at where they want to go. Set goals that are authentic, realistic and achievable. Use consistent verbiage, logos and ideals across all platforms and engage with others in an authentic way. Avoid controversy; network and engage with consumers; and begin taking your personal brand to the next level.

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