We are all well aware of the appraisal calibrations where a decision to promote a person is based on opinions/ perceptions of the people whose opinions you didn’t think mattered. Or someone you know gets invited to a really important forum and you wonder how that happened when you are the expert in the topic.
‘Our brand is what other people say about you when you‘re not in the room’, this quote attributed to Jeff Bezos sums up the fact that personal brand exists.
Now, pause and reflect.
How do people perceive you?
A lot of us will say, we do not care. But like it or not the perception already exists and many decisions about you happen when you are not even present. Five reasons to create a compelling Personal Brand
- You get to tell your own story:
Creating a personal brand allows you to do your own storytelling, consider this popular quote: ‘Unless the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.’ This can be good or damaging, but if you are on it, you can control your own narrative.
- You are an expert and you can present better:
Christine K. Jahnke in her book A Well-Spoken Woman, reminds us that ‘we are always presenting’ whether it’s a hello near the lobby, or a speech on the stage. We are presenting our thoughts, our expertise and ourselves. Well, with personal branding, you can have an elevator pitch ready and present better!
- It’s the age of social media:
And present to a much larger audience, considering it’s the age of social media. With the advent of social media, as Jessie Paul says, ‘it has democratized personal branding’. If you remember earlier we had scoops of a film industry gossip, or of a big business story, now the narrative is controlled by personal brands such as Anand Mahindra, Jennifer Lopez (oh yes, she is on LinkedIn) and the likes. We can maintain or change perceptions about ourselves using social media as the primary tool by sharing our stories, thoughts, expertise to a much larger audience.
- It’s good for business:
The trust in your brand is also about the trust in you, afterall everything is about people. Building a brand helps your stakeholders understand your values, views and expertise better.
- Helps your community:
When I first started working I was happy just getting by, had a job I loved, kept me financially independent and I enjoyed time with friends. Until one day, when I went home, my nephew declared being completely inspired by me. I am after all from a small little Himalayan town (Sikkim), with minimal access to good education and even less exposure to Corporates and role models. I started to think differently after that eye opening incident. Do it for your community, they want to have role models who look like you, representation really matters.
If you are an expert or a leader or you do something really well, pass it on.
Nota Bene: Authenticity is very important in the time of social media where feedback is instant, it’s open to all and the audience is large. Therefore, be aware of what you have to offer.