1. What’s personal branding and why it’s become ‘a thing’?
In short, my understanding of personal branding is a storytelling.
I would like to start with a story. First, there was darkness. There was nothing. Then somebody created the Internet. And then Social Media. The idea about branding has long been connected to companies only, but nowadays almost every single person on planet Earth has a personal brand because of the Internet and Social Media.
The question is no longer IF you have a personal brand, but rather do you want to cultivate it or let it be defined by others.
Before continuing there something I need to make crystal clear.
Personal branding is the process of establishing a connection between you and an area of expertise.
Not you and things you may be interested in but an area of expertise. For example, my personal brand would be talking about Omi the SEO professional and not Omi the Chelsea football fan. By all means, I would not hide my sympathy towards this football club. I may write an article about keyword research and use Chelsea as an example and also mention that I am a big Chelsea fan. But I would try and steer people towards Omi the SEO rather than my love for football.
Once people know who you are and begin to identify you with a specific area of understanding or expertise, you’ll be on your way to becoming the go-to person in your industry on a niche. It’s as simple as that.
Personal branding is not about you as an individual only but rather it’s about you and your area of expertise.
You shouldn’t hide things that you like or that you do normally in your day-to-day life. For example, I love cooking. So I would be talking a lot about cooking online. But I want people to know that I am an SEO professional and not a chef.
Sergey: So let’s say I am just getting into marketing and I am starting from zero. Maybe in the past, I have participated in social media activities and I had some social media exposure. But I don’t’ want all that to be associated with my personal brand. So Omi tell me:what are some personal branding no-no’s that I should be aware of and I should not do when I start building my personal branding?
2. What are some personal branding no-no’s that I should be aware of and I should not do when I start building my personal branding?
Let’s me start first with the things you should be doing (we can always look at those things from the other way – things you shouldn’t be doing).
The place to start is: Determine your area of expertise. So a no-no thing should be going into building your personal brand not knowing what you are. Not to be confused with what you are in general. I am only talking about your area of expertise.
The second stage would be auditing your current and past online presence. Knowing your online persona is of vital importance.
So a no-no thing would be going into a personal brand building without considering your digital footprint.
Let me also give you some yes-yes thing you should do from the very beginning of your personal brand journey.
- Start writing and publishing.
- Light up your social media profiles.
- Network, network, network.
3. Who needs to have a personal brand (what industries absolutely have to have them)?
This is a very good question and many people are asking me similar questions.
And the answer to this question is absolutely everybody!
As digital marketers, we think that we are the only ones that need to start building a personal brand. This is so fundamentally wrong.
I would start with a very obvious example in the face of Gordon Ramsay the chef. In a way his job is not ‘intellectual’ but he still needs his personal brand. Or another example would be Ronaldo the Portuguese football player. He is doing a lot of personal branding online. And he’s got nothing to do with digital marketing. So I will repeat this one: absolutely everybody on planet Earth needs to start working on his personal brand.
It comes to mind that nowadays it’s very rare that one person will stay in the same job forever. Every time you apply for a new job people would Google you. So going back to my introduction nowadays everybody has a personal brand whether he/she realises it or not. And it all comes down to the digital footprint we are leaving every time we go online.
4.What are the key metrics to assess the success of your brand and its impact on the company brand? And how do we measure it?
This is a very interesting question. The thing that everybody needs to understand is that your personal brand would not always have an impact on your company brand. A good example is me working for Daily Mail. I am all about SEO and Daily Mail is all about news. So straight away you understand that I wouldn’t have any impact on the company’s brand image.
But saying all that a lot of people that know me started following Daily Mail because of me. A lot of SEOs started talking about Daily Mail because they know me.
On the other side, a lot of people started following me because I’d started working for Daily Mail. So although sometimes it’s very difficult to see personal and company brand can work together.
Before people get too excited I would like to remind them that I was an SEO before I joined Daily Mail. I’ve started working on my personal brand before I’ve started working for this famous company. A lot of people rely on companies they work for to build their personal brand. And this is very, very wrong. Your personal brand should not be dependable on the companies you are working for but solely on your area of expertise.
Building a personal brand is vital for your future online presence. Start building your personal brand today regardless of what you currently doing for a living. Concentrate on your area of expertise and not companies you are working for.
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