“It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have. Your reputation online, and in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level.” – Gary Vaynerchuk ~ CEO of VaynerMedia
Every interaction we make on a day-to-day basis, every connection, everything we do, is branding. We are all CEO’s of our own company, and because of this, we need our differentiating factor to be the way we market ourselves. No longer are the days of representing ourselves by what’s written on a paper-made resume. What defines us is how we treat others, both in person, as well as through the digital footprint that we create.
While at work we are provided a great platform to build our personal brand, especially within our specific industry. We have access to individuals who have knowledge that we can benefit from and connections that we need. We must tap into the intellectual capital of those we work alongside to ensure that we absorb as much solid information and positive business practices as possible.
We also have access to customers, who by buying from us, have shown they have a need we know how to fill. We need to use each opportunity that we have to get to know our specific customer base so that we can better create demand for ourselves. The consumers are providing us endless amounts of data for which we can use to further our personal brands, and later down the line, bring a product or service to market that we know they need.
Branding ourselves while at work is about standing out from the crowd. We have an opportunity each day to build our personal brands by differentiating ourselves through what we do, and by how we build up those around us. It is integral to build solid relationships with those we come in contact with on a daily basis because every co-worker we interact with may one day become a future business partner or employee of ours.
There are many different ways in which you can provide a value proposition to those around you in the workplace. Every time you meet a new co-worker or an executive, follow-up with a correspondence via email or a handwritten card. Show people that you enjoyed your first interaction with them and that you would like to build a mutually-beneficial relationship.
You can also benefit greatly from maintaining in close contact with your customers throughout the buying process. Make them feel like they are the center of your attention so that you not only strengthen the bond for possible future purchases, but so that if one day you branch off, they will want to follow wherever you are newly planted.
Great value can also be provided by helping to solve a problem for your company without being asked. Take the initiative to look outside your current role into an area of opportunity from which your organization can greatly benefit. By doing so, you not only put yourself on the radar of top executives, you prove to yourself that there is no challenge you cannot overcome.
Just as, if not more importantly, we need to be continually growing our personal brands by the content that we create online coupled with the way that we engage our followers. It appears at times that there is a shortage of those who truly care about making a difference in the lives of others. This provides us a key opportunity to build a brand encircled around helping one another, it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the best business decision you will ever make.
Astonish people by what they find when they search for you on Google or Facebook. Show them that you are the type of individual that they want to do business with, that they want representing their company. If you can market your personal brand well enough, you show others that they should want you to do the same for them as well. There will always be a need for those who can build brands and market companies, so show others that you got this in spades by starting with your own.
The personal brand that you develop will determine how far you will go and the overall impact you are able to make. Brand yourself socially good so that others can’t help but want to do business with you now and into the future. The best way to lead by example is to build something of which others want to be a part.
We stand out from the crowd when we are not afraid to stand alone.
(Don’t be afraid to stand alone; the view will be amazing from your mountaintop.)