What Is Personal Branding?
There are several possible definitions for this term and everybody can have its own. Everything is a matter of perspective. Some people focus on the word branding and others, like me, focus on the word Personal.
Branding is the process of creating a brand. One process. In other words, branding is the journey, not the destination. The goal of branding is therefore to approach the holy grail, the goal, step by step, namely: to create or become a brand.
To be created or to become! Here 2 verbs are different at the same time and yet so close when it comes to branding. You can either create a brand for your business or you can become a brand yourself.
Wikipedia offers an interesting definition of personal branding
Why use personal branding and create / become a brand?
The simplest answer would be to say: be known and have more customers.
While true, this answer is somewhat limiting and incomplete.
To be known and recognized, we need to remember you, your company.
Before you even think about getting more customers, making more sales, signing more contracts and partnerships, you or your company must become your own brand and therefore become memorable.
Before the advent of the internet, this practice was mostly reserved for politicians, singers, actors, athletes or craftsmen who were involved in managing their brand image. This need was necessary because of their media presence. Do you remember those scandalous newspapers and magazines in which these famous people appeared in situations that were not always very favorable to them.
20 years later, and with the explosion of the internet, we can all fall victim to adverse situations! A photo can quickly make or break a reputation … your e-reputation.
Have you ever searched the internet for a famous person, neighbor, or your daughter’s friend to better understand who he or she is? With the internet, we’re all effective private investigators!
It is now necessary to take control of your brand image, our e-reputation, before building it on its own … at the risk of it missing out on you and not reflecting who you are.
Personal branding is often overlooked by business leaders. Indeed, these Cs are primarily focused on promoting their business, often through its products, to the detriment of their own image.
In 2016, 68% of managers were not actively present in social networks.
How is personal branding different from marketing?
Personal branding could be said to be business marketing applied to individuals.
Yes and no.
Rather, I’ll define it as business marketing that has been given a personal character.
Personal branding therefore means doing marketing and creating a brand by humanizing the discourse and the means used.
humanize? Yeah … we’re looking at the personal aspect of branding now.
Th, Roosevelt, President United States“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”
Marketing consists of specifying the characteristics of a product and its advantages or benefits.
And what is more effective to build this trust than to find common ground on affinities?
To achieve this goal, the actor, the athlete, the politician, the artist, but also the entrepreneur must change his mentality and agree to give a little of himself. From himself, his personality, his life. It is no longer enough to present your business or product that will be accepted by people. If 84% of Millennials have lost faith in advertisements and the companies that produce them, is that there are reasons.
This marketing has become too impersonal. We need to touch people, humanize the message, show off a bit of decor, behind the scene, create a link, and not just focus on the professional aspect.
How exactly does personal branding work?
With photos taken during professional events, but also in more personal moments such as breaks, moments of reflection, morning coffee, daily newspaper, sports that we practice, this hobby that we gather, this book that we like to dive in .
All these moments that make us and define who we are and what our brand is, and to show what we are.
By combining professional photos and personal photos that all describe a moment, in a dedicated context, a mood in the form of the story (story telling), not only professional skills, but also personal qualities. In this way we create a favorable climate for identification and thus … with the creation of a relationship of trust.
This can be done on the company’s website, a personal website or, of course, via the social networks.
Personal branding, professional branding, social selling…. everything is bound.
To be as efficient as possible, personal branding has to rely on the images, the photos.
“A picture is worth a thousand words”. You know this saying, of course. The brain holds pictures more easily and understands them faster than words.
Well-managed personal branding must therefore be based on 3 pillars:
- Appropriate photos.
- Appropriate narrative
- Appropriate communication support.
The right photos, with the right message on the right network. This is the operation that will have to be repeated for many weeks or even months in order to achieve the ultimate goal: to create trust and become a brand.