There was a time when the idea of having a brand only applied to a company or a product. If a company and its product was reputable, it was a ‘good’ brand. It would naturally gain the attention and trust of its target market. Eventually, this would lead to sales.
Today, branding applies to individual working professionals as well. The business world recognises each person as a brand of their own. This is known as a ‘personal brand’. Your target market could be potential employers, clients, partners, and anyone who is connected with you online and offline.
What is a personal brand?
A ‘personal brand’ is basically how people perceive you. While these perceptions differ from person to person, they exist whether you realise it or not. So it’s really important that you are able to have a degree of control over that narrative. Not just to secure your next job, but to really grow your influence in your industry wherever you go.
Three main benefits of a personal brand
Having a strong personal brand has many benefits, here are three basic ones you need to know.
1. A strong personal brand builds visibility and trust
In a hyper connected world, it’s easy to be drowned in the noise. Being known for something specific helps you stand out and gain visibility in your market. How do people describe you? What are you good at? What is it that you are most passionate about? What can you offer that’s different from your competitor? The answers to all these questions is what makes you unique and it should be the very same things that make you visible. People first need to know you exist. Then, when they start to recognise you for that one thing, they’ll know they can trust you when you speak about it or when you provide that service. In other words, your good reputation known as your personal brand, does the marketing for you.
2. A strong personal brand brings business growth
Once people trust you, it’s easier for them to rely on you for the work that you do. It also comes naturally for them to recommend you, to want to collaborate with you, or to mention your name as a reference point or case study in different conversations. This can really grow your network and your business opportunities. As someone who wants to bring value to the world in some shape or form, your personal brand is the vehicle that takes you there. When you have a strong personal brand, people won’t just recognise who you are, they will also care about what you have to say.
3. A strong personal brand has better financial returns
A Hinge research shows that those with higher levels of visibility have a higher chance of making more money than those with low levels. We’re talking about up to 13 times more for reasons similar to those mentioned above.
Also, by the time you have a strong personal brand and great visibility, people come to you instead of the other way around. This gives you the ability to choose the kind of clients you want, which in turn will continue to attract those same kinds of clients in the long run. This could mean working with clients who are aligned to your values and who are willing to pay what you’re worth. You can focus on doing good work and getting even better at it, while increasing your revenue instead of just taking on every single low-paying job that comes your way.
If you’re employed by a company, this principle can apply to you as well because of the ‘Halo Effect’ – when people start to perceive your company in the same way they perceive you. Think about it, if you have a reputable personal brand and people know which company you work with, it is likely that they’ll perceive that company to “hire the best” or have a work environment that is great enough to attract someone of your calibre. Companies understand this and naturally value such employees.
So… What’s next?
We hope this gives you a good starting idea of what a personal brand is, and why you should start building yours the way you want it to be. A powerful way to build a personal brand online is by using compelling visuals. While you may have a way with words, showing people who you are and inviting them into your world through photos and quick videos is far more effective. Compelling visuals have the ability to captivate people because they tell a story that makes people feel. And that, is always more enjoyable than just reading information.
We have just launched the Stories Visual Brand Kit which gives you a great head start for building your personal brand. It includes five stunning headshots that are professionally photographed either at our studio or your location of choice. It also includes a sleek 90-second video that shows people who you are and what you are passionate about. Because it’s a new package, we’re putting it out there at a very affordable introductory rate. We want to see freelancers, budding entrepreneurs, and passionate creatives like you GROW in your business. Find out more about our Visual Brand Kit below.