Whether you are a freelancer, a business owner, or a corporate professional, you have the ability to become a powerful commodity. You are what sells your services, gets you hired, and enables you to develop valuable relationships. You are what makes your business and your name recognizable and sought-after. You are a brand.
You may have created a business named after yourself, solidifying the unity between you and your business. You may do business under a different business name, or you may be working for an employer. Regardless of these dynamics, you have the ability to create a brand that emphasizes your biggest value and incorporates the best of you into your professional life.
To get a clear understanding of the value that comes from building your brand, first we need to look at why branding “you” is so important. Part I of this two-part series focuses on self-branding and how you can benefit from taking time to develop your own personal brand.
Actively Branding “You” Does Matter
Developing yourself as a brand is happening, whether you’re out there facilitating it or not. If you have a web site, use any kind of social media network, or participate in public forums and discussions, you are building a brand. And if you’re not actively controlling the brand that’s developing, you could be in for disaster.
Everyone, regardless of the individual skills they bring to the table, is leaving behind a legacy of who they are, what they’ve done, how they’ve done it and who they have influenced along the way – both positively or negatively. So, it’s in your best interest to take control of the brand you’re creating and mold it to fit your ideal perception.
Your Brand Can Make You Irreplaceable
Creating a brand that revolves around you provides a way to reinforce and control the elements of yourself that set you apart from the next guy. There isn’t anyone else out there that can build the brand of “you” better than you can.
Because of this, branding yourself makes it harder to replace you. It makes you recognizable for who you are and what you do. It can be a constant reminder about the value you provide better than anyone else, and reiterates the reality that there is no substitute for you.
And That’s Not All…
If being able to control how others perceive you and making yourself hard to replace aren’t big enough selling points on the importance of developing your brand, here are a few other benefits:
- It gives you a voice that is more likely to be listened to.
- It allows you to zero-in on what you do best.
- It makes you more credible.
- It sets you apart from everyone else.
- It helps people develop trust in you.
- It keeps you on people’s minds.
- It gives you new opportunities.
- It can make you considered an expert in your field.
- It helps you develop loyalty.
There are a lot of reasons to develop and consistently monitor your brand. And one big reason not to — if left alone, your brand can take on a life of its own and hurt your potential for success in the process. Not much of a decision is it?
So…are you ready to get to work on strengthening the brand of “you?” Tune into my next post, which explores the key questions you should answer in order to get started with building your personal brand.
Image credit: Dimitri Castrique