Personal branding is a term that has gone mainstream in the last few months. The concept, itself, has been around much longer but it has always been one of those open secrets. Now, it is not even that as every blogger and CEO alike is scampering to establish personal branding. Just the fact that so many individuals from so many different walks of life have gotten on board the personal branding bandwagon should be proof enough of its effectiveness. However, as many fashion trends and photography fads (owling, anyone?) have shown, things don’t need to make sense to become trends. This is why we feel the need to list all the benefits of personal branding here.
1. Improved Visibility in Industry
Most professionals, experts, and specialists struggle to find visibility. Moreover, there are numerous third party service providers that get to these individuals and persuade them to pay for more visibility. This does two things. The first is that these individuals don’t get the visibility that they actually have the potential to get and the other is that they get complacent in the thought that they’re paying someone to do it for them.
The end result is that they never delve into personal branding and never realise how much more visibility they can get for themselves and for their businesses if they only did it independently. For example, a business has a marketing service provider or marketing department. This service provider or department handle personal branding as an add-on to the business’s overall marketing.
There are benefits to be had in the synergy between business and personal branding. However, the problem arises when the latter becomes a support technique rather than a core tactic. Personal branding has a lot of potential to bring visibility for the individual in the right audience and, by extension, for his business in the right target audience.
2. Establishing Authority in a Single Market Niche
As your personal brand grows, you’ll find that more people are identifying with you and recognising your personal brand. This recognition means that they’ll start connecting with you on an emotional level. As a result, you’ll find your opinions becoming more valuable to your audience. People will soon start viewing you as an expert in your field. All your theories, opinions, values, and tips will be repeated by others to others as well. In simple words, your audience will begin trusting you.
This trust is important in a wide variety of ways. This trust in your personal brand will easily follow through into your business. In fact, since trust begets trust, once it takes hold in your audience, it will bring in more audience. Simply because a few people have started trusting you, others will become more inclined towards trusting you. Thus, you’ll establish yourself and your business as an authority in your market niche.
3. Passive Networking with Minimal Effort
When your personal brand becomes recognisable and people start identifying with it, it will take on a life of its own. There will come a time when you won’t have to contact people for meetings. Instead, people you don’t know or have only heard about before will contact you for meetings. As many requests as you will get, you won’t even hear about all the other mentions of your name. For example, someone may recommend you to someone else whether for advice, contacts or simply information but the person won’t get in touch with you until much later.
In simple words, all the networking that professionals look to do will become passive for you. Passive networking is beneficial because your name does the work for you even while you sleep.
4. Higher Perceived Value in Audience
The biggest advantage of personal branding will be a culmination of everything we’ve mentioned till now. All of those benefits of personal branding will combine to improve your perceived value in the eyes of your audience. Your increased visibility in the industry will make it seem like you’re a bigger fish in the sector than what may be the reality.
Passive networking i.e. more people talking about you will make it seem as if you’re more recognisable than what may be the truth and when you start being recognised by the industry as an authority even other sectors will start viewing you as such. With a higher perceived value, people will deal with you and your business differently.
For instance, in negotiations, it is more important how the other party sees you than what is really true because their perception of you informs the price range they’re willing to operate within. With a higher perceived value, it isn’t that farfetched that your contracts and business deals will grow in quantity and quality.
5. Single Channel for Client Acquisition and Client Retention
In fact, personal branding can be seen as a single channel for both client acquisition and retention. As your personal brand grows, you’ll become visible to a larger audience. This, in turn, will make it easier for you and your business to get newer clients. You will not only find it easier to pitch to new clients with more of a personal brand but will also receive references and recommendations from others.
Client retention becomes easier with personal branding because a more developed personal brand creates trust, as mentioned above. Your existing clients will trust you more simply because they’ll be able to see the real you in your personal brand. Personal branding done right will show the world your best strengths and skills. These engender a sense of reliability and dependability in the audience which can significantly improve a business’s or professional’s client retention rate.
6. Access to Activities Laterally Relevant To Expertise
While your career and business will definitely benefit with personal branding, you may benefit in unforeseeable areas of your life. For example, a lot of people who have created a personal brand have revealed that they were offered speaking opportunities at various events. Some have even pointed out that these speaking opportunities won’t just revolve around your chosen industry but also beyond it.
What all this means is that with your personal brand you can not only open doors within your industry but also outside of it. This can be very advantageous since most such opportunities tend to arise in areas that are laterally relevant to your core strength, skill set, or expertise.
What Should You Base Your Personal Brand On?
Once people start considering personal branding, it is a foregone conclusion that they will try to benefit from it. The only obstacle that keeps people from putting in place a personal branding strategy is funding. The big question then is how can you get around this hindrance? The answer to this question runs parallel to the question of what your personal brand should be like.
The secret is that your personal brand shouldn’t be curated. Corporations, companies, and businesses need to curate their brands because of legal threats and the need for a uniform, professional voice. Individuals don’t need to do this because personal opinions don’t invite legal hassles and personal voice could be as eccentric as the person wants it to be.
Therefore, your personal brand needs to be as authentic and genuine as you can make it. This will also benefit you because you won’t need to hire anyone to do it for you. You can simply start by researching a little on the steps towards personal branding and become active with your social media profiles.