To brand or not to brand -- is that the question?
The dilemma of personal branding is balancing your professional and private lives. Building a personal brand puts yourself and your reputation in the public sphere. Today that includes social media, professional associations, workplaces, and personal life. In fact, in our interconnected world, it can seem that everything is open for consumption, and there is no such thing as privacy. However, being mindful of how others view you is crucial.
We all know how you are perceived can impact many aspects of your life. As a Resilience Professional, who interacts at all levels of an organization, it’s a bonus to cultivate transparency, so everyone knows what to expect from you. Next, it’s not just for business marketing. Building a brand helps others create an accurate impression of who you are. Whether you are just starting your career or finishing it, it is never too late to make a positive impression. That’s the beauty of crafting your brand identity–so that you influence how others engage with you.
What is personal branding & why to do it
Personal branding is creating and maintaining a clear image and reputation representing who you are and what you stand for. It helps you establish a unique identity and position yourself as an expert in your field. Personal branding is essential for development and enables you to achieve your goals and aspirations.
For some, this blurring of public and private is negative. However, creating a clear persona boosts your unique characteristics and provides transparency. Megan Smith put it best in her Constant Contact article, “Everyone needs personal branding because everyone has a personal brand.” Think of it as creating a shortcut for others to get to know you and understand what you are all about.
Personal branding's value
The value of personal branding lies in several key areas:
Career advancement: A solid personal brand can help you stand out in the job market. It can make you more attractive to potential employers and open up new opportunities for growth and advancement.
Increased visibility and recognition: Personal branding can help you become more visible in your industry and among your peers. It increases your exposure and recognition as a thought leader and expert.
Reputation management: Personal branding allows you to shape and control your online reputation. Doing this ensures that your image is consistent and reflects who you are and what you stand for.
Networking: Personal branding can help you connect with like-minded individuals, expand your network, and create meaningful relationships for your mutual benefit.
Confidence and self-awareness: Personal branding helps clarify your values, goals, and strengths. It leads to greater self-awareness and confidence in your personal and professional life.
You want to be viewed as a trustworthy expert in your field. Branding is a way to accomplish that.
How I built my personal brand
Many of you have followed my blog since its inception in March 2019. I listed the five reasons I was inspired to go public with my unique voice back then. They still hold today, but I added the Quick Views podcast to spotlight innovative vendors and thought leaders last year. Of course, it is a work in progress, but I knew that I wanted a way to discuss broader topics of interest than possible in a corporate environment.
So, Disaster Empire was born. After nearly four years, people in our field know what I am about. Of course, colleagues can connect with me on LinkedIn, but they know I am a resilience champion. On the blog and podcast, I cover topics ranging from personal well-being to building a company’s resilience program. Through it all, I am grateful for your support, interest, and continued engagement.
Personal branding resources
Here are some resources you can use to build your brand:
Social media: Platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram can help you share your thoughts, insights, and experiences with a broader audience.
Blogging: Starting a blog or writing articles on platforms such as Medium or LinkedIn can help you showcase your expertise and thought leadership.
Professional websites: Building a personal website is an effective way to centralize all your content, showcase your skills and accomplishments, and connect with potential clients, employers, and partners.
Personal brand audit: Conducting a personal brand audit can help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement and create a plan for building your brand.
Personal branding workshops: Attending personal branding workshops and webinars can give you the tools and knowledge needed to develop a stellar personal brand.
Networking events: Attending networking events and conferences can help you connect with other professionals in your industry, exchange ideas, and learn from others who have already built strong personal brands.
Personal branding coaches and consultants: Working with a personal branding coach or consultant can provide personalized guidance, support, and feedback as you build your brand.
Why you should build & nurture your brand
Of course, curating a brand takes effort. It’s something you will need to work on over time. However, its benefits can manifest in career advancement, increased visibility, and recognition. In my case, it is not entirely self-serving but a way to give back and pay it forward. Still, an aspect of public identity is reputation management which can be nurtured through networking and participating in professional groups like DRII, The BCI, and ACP.
I am a testament that it leads to personal growth and development. My engagement in continued research, understanding of trends, and employment increased my professionalism. Branding develops self-awareness and confidence, whether at a firm, volunteer or as a consultant. Finally, personal branding allows you to leave a lasting impact by sharing your knowledge, experiences, and insights and inspiring others to achieve their goals and aspirations.
The biggest dilemma is why you aren’t actively building your brand.
Did you know?
Disaster Empire blogs contain embedded links to source materials, articles of interest, videos, books, and training I recommend. Just click on the blue embedded link to access the resource.