Brands used to be only for businesses. And we, the employees, were expected to uphold and support the principles of the brand. Some of us in marketing were even lucky enough to help our businesses build their brands.
But as trust has eroded away from corporations and government institutions, we are seeing the ushering in of a new era: the employee-brand.
Those of us who understand how to yield the power of our networks will achieve greater levels of professional success. And those who know how to use social channels to deliver helpful messages will ride the wave of this new era in personal branding.
I recently uploaded “Why Now Is The Time To Build Your Personal Brand“ on Slideshare. In this post, I will summarize the slides and explain why now, more than ever, is your time to shine as a positive voice in the crowded media marketplace.
And I’ll offer tips on how to get there…
Foundations of The Personal Brand
So what do I know about personal branding? I have only been blogging for a little more than 2 years, and tweeting for just over three years. Well, that is actually part of my story…
I graduated from college during a pretty serious economic recession and high unemployment that caused a lot of companies to begin to break decades old “contracts” with employees.
Layoffs. Downsizing. Rightsizing. It was the era of a CEO called “Chainsaw” and was the beginning of the end of the pension plan.
This must have been terribly unsettling for employees who had come to expect lifetime employment and safe retirements. Employees began to challenge the status quo on every front.
Big companies understand the importance of brands…It’s a new brand world…
Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.
It’s that simple — and that hard. And that inescapable.”
It took me a few years to really understand what Tom was talking about. I joined LinkedIn relatively early on. I tried to network in between kids and travel and new jobs. But I didn’t take it as seriously as I knew I should.
The New Era of Personal Branding
Fast forward to 2012 and we see a rapid erosion of trust in businesses, government and traditional media institutions. Edelman recently updated their Trust Barometer which shows that the media landscape continues to fragment with the growth of online and social media information.
But more importantly, it quantifies the dramatic changes in perceived credibility: trust in CEOs, Government officials and even Analysts is down. While trust in regular employees and “people like you” reported huge increases. Only academics and technical experts are seen as more credible and their trust level is flattening.
So when the average employee, just like you, is perceived as more trustworthy than the CEO, then clearly…
Now Is The Time For “Brand You”
This is why I challenge everyone in business to wake up and get social and to realize that there is no separation between our work and personal lives. It’s time to start telling your story and growing your network.
Through this content + connections model, your influence grows and you too can become a positive voice in the marketplace, on topics you are passionate about. And you can earn the power to influence a future boss, a future employee, a future customer, a future partner or a future investor in your business.
4 Tips to Personal Branding Success
Here are 4 tips to personal branding success to help you get started:
- Define your audience and set objectives by answering “Why you are talking?” “Who are you talking to?” and “What’s in it for them and you?”
- Build it in to every day: Scan, filter, read, connect, write, respond. Social media success really is found in just minutes per day. Set goals on how much time and effort you will put in.
- Build relationships of mutual benefit. Listen, connect and share the content from others. Personal branding is about the people you surround yourself with.
- The new content rules: If it isn’t a keyword, no one cares. Titles matter. Bullets help. Tell stories following the traditional story arc: a Hero, has a quest, goes on a journey, encounters an obstacle and achieves resolution.
Now I know what you are thinking: “I’m too old. I don’t have the time and I don’t see the value.” But these are the same excuses people use for why they don’t hit the gym or eat better.
So stop kidding yourself and start contributing to the social business world. You will help yourself and your business too.
View Why Now Is The Time To Build Your Personal Brand on Slideshare.