Why Personal Branding Is Important And How To Build Yours (2024)

Branding isn’t just for companies and corporations. Professionals are managing their personal brands to achieve career success. Learn why personal branding is important and how to build yours to stand out in the job market.

Social media has forever changed the way we interact and conduct business. That’s why branding is no longer just a tool for major corporations and companies to market themselves.

No matter how you feel about your online presence, you already have a personal brand. Even if you haven’t optimized your LinkedIn profile to provide much information, you’re branding yourself in a way that tells the world: “I’m not investing energy into my industry.”

If you’re off social media completely, you could be at a disadvantage compared to the thousands of online professionals engaging intentionally with their communities.

What Personal Branding Looks Like in 2022

Just like with corporations, your personal brand is a reflection of your identity. It’s also a commitment to the consumer.

Apple has branded itself as innovative, promising consumers its products are unlike any other on the market. Nike’s brand tells you to “Just Do It,” focusing on power and performance. Trader Joe’s branding wants you to know that they offer a more community-based experience than their big box competitors.

Personal branding works similarly. Your brand isn’t just your image but your story and position within your industry. It tells your audience about your values and beliefs.

Professionals and entrepreneurs use their brands as a deliberate marketing tool, but they also make sure that their message is authentic. No matter your industry, your personal brand should be a genuine expression of what you have to offer:

  • Digital marketers often brand themselves as confident and ready to share knowledge. Their photos will be front-facing, emphasizing their presence as someone who has found success and wants to share it.
  • Graphic designers will brand themselves according to the unique style they have to offer businesses. But generally, their personal brand will be aesthetically pleasing and relevant to recent design trends.
  • Financial professionals may brand themselves as knowledgeable on the latest investment trends, economic indicators, and with a more professional style.
  • Tech industry professionals will want to brand themselves as an industry expert in their particular field, emphasizing knowledge and expertise on upcoming technologies, trends, and changes in technology within their industries.

No matter your field, your personal brand should reflect your real personality.

If you want your audience to know that you’re easygoing, your website or LinkedIn copy will use down-to-earth language. However, if you want to reflect detail-oriented professionalism, your content will be more straightforward and free of errors.

Personal branding is your social media profiles, website, and how you communicate with people. That’s right: even your emails, comments on posts, and private messages reflect your personal brand.

The Benefits of Personal Branding

What will your personal brand say about you? What does having a personal brand offer?

1. Authenticity

Personal branding shows future employers that you are genuine about your ethics and efforts. You can showcase your strengths and achievements while also opening up about the risks you’ve taken and the mistakes you’ve made along the way. People tend to value vulnerability in their influencers.

2. Trust

Building your personal brand helps viewers feel like they can get to know you. For example, you might tell an interviewer that you value forming bonds with colleagues, but what does your online network have to say? Your personal brand establishes you as an industry leader, a thought-provoker, or an influencer. It shows that you are a trustworthy source of knowledge and experience.

3. Credibility

A personal brand typically will showcase a professional’s credibility in their expertise. This can be in the form of recommendations on your LinkedIn profile, references in a job search, or testimonials on a website. Your personal brand tells audiences that you know what you’re doing and can do it better than your competitors.

4. Oversight

Social media only offers you so much control. And you can’t always control other people’s opinions. But by steadfastly managing your personal brand, you can still maintain your own image and messaging. Ideas and thoughts can change, and your personal brand is a way to navigate shifting tides.

5. Opportunities

The most crucial benefit of personal branding is the opportunities it offers. Your personal brand can help elevate your career by making industry connections, networking with like-minded professionals, and building a community you can influence. Personal branding shows audiences that you’re authentic, trustworthy, and credible. And it also shows that you’re inspiring others to follow in your footsteps.

Steps to Building Your Personal Brand

Whether you’re building a personal brand from scratch or revisiting your brand to optimize its potential, it’s good to start with these steps:

1. Define your values

Ask yourself why you’re even considering your personal brand right now. Why are you an expert in your field? What motivates and inspires you?

Remember that the key to a solid personal brand is authenticity, so you should be honest about what you want. What values are at the core of what you do?

2. Establish your audience

When you post an article on LinkedIn, who are you posting it for? Consider who you might speak to when posting on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Imagine your ideal customer or your ideal hiring manager at your ideal place of work. Think about their lifestyles, how they look, what they say.

Envisioning your audience helps you meet their demands and needs. Knowing your audience will make your messaging distinct while building a unique connection to the person on the other end.

3. Decide how to brand yourself

Remember that your personal brand is more than your profile picture or logo. For instance, do you have a website or solid content to go with your social media profiles? What is your tagline?

Essentially, ask yourself how you want to put yourself out there. If you’ve only been relying on one or two platforms, consider a new one. Or maybe it’s time to invest in a professional photographer or update your current professional headshots. Take this as an opportunity to invent or reinvent. How are you expressing yourself currently, and what are some new ways to do so?

4. Network, network, network

Connecting with other professionals is crucial to managing your brand and widening your influence’s scope. Be active in your journey by sharing, promoting, and creating content.

Reply to other posts with questions and comments. Ask an industry leader you admire if there is potential for partnership. Your personal brand is a two-way street. By networking, you can develop better brand awareness across audiences.

Luckily, networking is just as beneficial to the other person. After all, they’re on the same platform, sharing their brands, because they want to network, too.

5. Get feedback from peers

Feedback is tricky because you’ve spent all these hours optimizing your personal brand only to hear there’s a flaw in the system. However, your brand relies entirely on engagement. Branding your identity means nothing if you’re not open to developing your brand to speak to others.

Moving Forward with Your Personal Brand

Now that you’ve established your brand, determine how you want the future of that brand to look.

  • Stay Consistent: Carry the initial excitement of building your online presence into the next phase of maintaining your personal brand. Your messaging across all platforms should consistently demonstrate the same energy. Make sure your activity doesn’t contradict the message of your personal brand. Your brand should be consistent in tone and style to keep the trust of your audience.
  • Keep Telling Your Story: Entrepreneurs often have a bio on their website or post on their page that goes into the backstory of why they’re here. But successful personal brands tell stories across all modes of communication. Keep sharing recent anecdotes that inspired, motivated, or challenged you. Share different memories or dreams. Re-tell your backstory for new followers, or revisit your backstory in other lights.
  • Make an Impact: Personal branding is about standing out and making a difference. Don’t just do a yearly revisit of your brand goals. Dedicate time every week or month to determine the next steps of your networking goals. Set short-term goals to make long-lasting impacts. Keep a growth mindset when engaging with your industry and community.
Why Personal Branding Is Important And How To Build Yours (2024)


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