What is Personal Branding? And Why is it so Important?

If ever Mark Zakurberg disappeared, and there had to be someone else in the picture for branding Meta, and let’s go further, if the person replacing Mark is Will Smith; will you resist having a different attitude towards your Facebook and the way you use it? Believe it or not: no, you can’t resist having a totally different attitude, just because of the change of the first face of an organization. 

What is personal branding and why is it important?

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is famously quoted as saying, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”.

Personal branding is the process of creating a brand identity for a person or a company. As the name suggests, this is a brand for you or your business.

Why is it important?

  1. Building trust 

A business alone is something cold and solid, has nothing you can see to interact with and count on, but a business that’s represented by a real person, is something you can be closer and more loyal to.

  1. Grow your network

A business can have customers, but no matter how loyal these customers are, it is still a relationship between a human and a solid entity, and can never be like human bonds. When a real person is growing a network of friends and close ones. A network in personal branding is eye contact, voice tone, word choice, perfume, tremendous charisma, and stage presence. 

We only have to recognize that, whether it is a business or a person, you’ll always be unlikeable to some people, there will always be people out of your reach, and away from your type, and this is very healthy.

Branding never meant to be likable to everyone on the planet, branding meant to be well-represented to the right target of people.

  1. Having a fingerprint

You might have a unique point as a business, but when it’s personal branding, you’ll have a fingerprint. Uniqueness points can be common between a couple of business entities, but personal branding can’t be identically copied, and even when copied, the new copy always takes a different track. 

Personal branding examples

  • Sir Richard Branson has built a powerful personal brand by just being himself.

Who in the world doesn’t know the man that appeared in a photo while he was right beside a sleeping employee in his own company? That photo alone went so viral on social media and is still rocking.

Different situations and photos of Richard Branson have been widely spread, and most of them had a funny, successful neutral attitude. They define him more than they represent his business or companies.

  • Jeff Bezos

Ever noticed that Bezos looks a bit like an alien? It might be because of the appearance style he chose for himself, and definitely has something to do with his own space aspirations. 

  • Mark Zakurberg

The smart, the organized, the time managing skilled, the healthy, the simplistic, and the richest geek. And with no hesitation, you’ll always recognize Facebook or Meta once you see them. All that can be agreed on about Zakurberg’s personality, although he lacks showing up on the media in general, at least he’s not like Elon Musk for sure.

It’s also important to mention that, if personal branding is aimed to represent a business through a real-life person, his characteristics should be relevant to the business and welcomed amongst the target audience. More importantly, the real person should have a relevant culture and beliefs to this business. Even if we’re looking forward to going globally, there will always be a slice of the audience that you didn’t target, and they’re still welcomed, and another slice of the audience that you targeted, but they didn’t welcome your business or your culture, and both slices are fine, and it’s mandatory to happen in every business.

  • Elon Musk

The elegant, the technology, the stylish, the huge investments guy, and the supporter of small investors. What we must notice in Elon’s personal branding, is that he has six companies, when most people only know him for 2 of them. It’s important in your personal branding to focus, have priorities, and avoid distraction. 

It’s also important to mention that a personal branding can be created for a person that owns a business, and for a person who doesn’t. So, a personal branding is about real people, whatever they do in life, wherever they work, and whatever they own. A personal branding can be created for a person with no business at all, can be an artist, an athlete, an influencer, or a social media celebrity that only owns a couple of YouTube channels.

5 Golden rules for personal branding

  1. Focus

Choose up to 3 topics in your content, the top 3 that you can add a great value, and have a uniqueness at, rearrange them to make one of them a main topic, and focus on. It is the biggest mistake to talk about everything, and ride the wave of every single trend. You don’t and you won’t target all people. So, focus on the topics in which you can add real value for people. You may talk about family, and have great influence, and loyal followers, don’t be impressed by another influence who’s talking about politics, having more followers, and say I want to talk about politics too and be successful like him; because this is his own uniqueness point that you’re not that good at, afterall, if you left your spot in family content, that political influence may miss a main point in his success just because he doesn’t know how to keep the bond of his family. 

“Too many people are unfocused when it comes to press and coverage, trying to be “everything to everyone.” Decide what your key message is and stick to it,” says Cooper Harris, founder and CEO of Klickly.

  1. Be genuine

Believe me, a content you create using your own knowledge and experience in life, is much easier to find than copying others content, or faking some content pieces. Copying and faking might give some success for a very short term, but original, honest, and genuine for a different charm. And it’s never about how many likes and shares you get, more it’s about the people you help in their lives to get better chances and pass some obstacles, and it’s some indescribable joy to hear your quote on some tongues that never met you before.

Millennial influencer and head of marketing at Popular Demand, Monica Lin, says “People can see right through a disingenuous act.”.

  1. Use stories

The value a story adds to people is double the value a plain text does. There’s no better than creating stories for a business content, imagine when it comes to a real life person with real life experiences and true stories? Nothing is better than telling your followers real stories about you, your position, or your business. 

Allen Gannett, chief strategy officer at Skyword and author of The Creative Curve explains it best:” The most effective personal branding strategy these days is to build a true narrative – single character monologues are boring in Tinseltown, and even more boring for your personal brand.”.

  1. Be positive

Say it the best way you can, make it encouraging more than blaming, add a sense of humor, and make people laugh about their silliness. People need to receive a good image about themselves, their relatives, their society, their jobs, before they hear advice to change something. Positivity is like having a good immune system that can handle tough medicine. 

  1. Be consistent

It’s the missing piece in the puzzle. Influencers can easily be positive, be genuine, tell stories, but it’s almost hard for everyone to have consistency in their content, avoid the distraction of too many trends, and post in time.

Fyiona Yong, director and millennial leadership coach (ICF ACC). She regularly works with millennials in a corporate context to help them define their more conservative work goals; said “You have to demonstrate consistency across your communication, gravitas, and appearance. Don’t underestimate how tiny inconsistencies can derail personal brand effectiveness.”.

Read also: What Is Brand Personality? How It’s Important? With Examples


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