What's A Personal Brand And Why Do You Need One?

Personal Branding What's A Personal Brand And Why Do You Need One? Sean Harry Kelly Kuehn Jenna Arcand January 13, 2022 Professional woman standing in her office

When you think about personal branding, a few questions might come to mind: What is a personal brand? Why do I need to develop my personal brand? How do I create a personal brand? Of course, you don't really “create" a personal brand. You already have one.

What Can Influence Your Personal Brand?

Don't believe me? Google your name followed by your hometown.

If you have a Facebook page or LinkedIn profile, your name probably comes up on the first page. Perhaps you have more social media profiles. Maybe you've recently been mentioned in a local news article.

All of these things are part of your personal brand. Scary? Get over it. It's already out there and you can't do anything about it. What you can do is manage your personal brand so what people see about you is what you want them to see.

The History Of Personal Branding Young man outlines his personal brand

Personal branding was popularized by an article by Tom Peters first published in Fast Company Magazine ("A Brand Called You") over 20 years ago.

He starts out the article by writing, "Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You."

How Do You Create A Personal Brand? Young woman talks during a work meeting

When I read that 20 years ago, I implicitly knew he was right but I didn't understand how a person could go about creating their own personal brand.

The only brands I knew of were huge corporations with hefty advertising and marketing budgets. What could a lone individual do to create their own personal brand?

Then along came the internet, and social networking, and web 2.0, and Google, and then blogs, Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many other applications entered the scene and made it virtually impossible for anyone to keep from creating a personal brand, whether they wanted to or not.

How To Effectively Manage Your Personal Brand Woman manages her personal brand

Here are a few things you can do to manage your personal brand.

1. Make Your Personal Brand Clear

Be clear about the image you intend to project. If you have more than one message, you run the risk of confusing people about what you are all about.

2. Make Your Personal Brand Consistent

Make certain your brand message is consistent across all platforms. For instance, your resume and LinkedIn profile must be in sync.

3. Back Up Statements In Your Personal Brand

Back up any broad statements with objective proof via quantifiable information. Show numbers of what you have done to back up your claims.

4. Keep Your Personal Brand Short, Sweet, And To The Point

Your personal brand isn't your life story. Keep it brief. Can you state your value proposition in 10 words or less? If not, you run the risk of being forgettable—the death knell of any brand.

Having a great personal brand will help you stand out from others and make you more marketable as a job candidate. Knowing who you are, what your goals are, and what message you want to send to employers is crucial for keeping up in the competitive job search.

Do you need help crafting your personal brand?

Check out our FREE resources page!

Or, join our career growth club today and get access to one-on-one career coaching, resume and cover letter reviews, online tutorials, and unlimited networking opportunities—all in your back pocket!

If you want more FREE career advice, follow us on TikTok!

This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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In November 2021, I was introduced to a company called Contra. They give professional independents, like me, a new way to present my expertise. Their idea is simple: ditch the resume, showcase your past work through projects, offer your skills through services, get matched to remote opportunities, and receive commission-free payments all within their platform. I immediately fell in love—here’s why…

Networking Is Easier When You Give People What They Need To Trust You Your browser does not support the video tag.

My Contra profile was easy to set up and is focused on letting me showcase my actual accomplishments—instead of a boring summary of my work history. For example, I have created a lot of valuable free resources for professionals and executives. When people visit my Contra profile, they can quickly get to know me, but more importantly, jump right to the resources I know they would be most interested in learning more about. It’s a faster, better way for them to connect with my expertise!

Speaking Of Jumping…Married couple watches TikTok videos together

Once you have a Contra profile and a TikTok account, you can use their new “TikTok Jump” feature. In partnership with TikTok, you can now link your Contra profile directly to your TikTok video! Making it easy for someone who is watching my career and job search tips to click and get access to my resources. Here is an example of a TikTok video I did recently using a Contra Jump link.

In the little over two months since I started using TikTok Jumps, I have had over 22,600 people check out my Contra profile! That’s more than the number of people who looked at my bio on TikTok in the previous year. Needless to say, I am getting a lot more connection requests on LinkedIn and followers on my other social media platforms as well. Linking my Contra profile in my TikToks (aka using the Contra TikTok Jump) has been a networking game changer for me!

EXAMPLE: How I Used TikTok Jumps To Help 50+ With Their Interview PrepWoman uses TikTok for job search help

Once I got the hang of TikTok Jumps, I started using it on every TikTok I made. That’s when I stumbled onto an idea…

I get a lot, I mean A LOT, of people asking me for job interview help on a daily basis on social media. Since I don’t have time to meet with each person, I created a comprehensive Interview Prep Plan. It covers literally everything you need to know about the interview process from start to finish. People who use it tell me they can’t believe how much easier interviewing got once they understood the process from the hiring manager’s point of view.

One day, I posted a TikTok answering a common interview prep question. At the end of the TikTok, I pointed down and said, “You can grab my Interview Prep Plan by clicking my Contra profile right here.” Well, within a week of posting that, I had over 50 people purchase the plan and they were commenting how helpful it was. It felt so good to be able to help these folks and all I had to do was direct them to my Contra profile!

In summary, it’s often that I’m really impressed with new social media technology. But, I am truly a fan of Contra and what they are doing for professionals like me. It’s an excellent way to build your online presence. And, the best part? It’s FREE to use. My favorite kind of technology for sure.

P.S. If you’re interested in trying out Contra for yourself, check out their free services here!

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