When you think about some of the world’s biggest brands, you’ll quickly realise that many are intertwined with those at the helm.
The likes of Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos have cultivated such strong personal brands that they are just as—if not more—famous than the companies they run. And this transcends the business world. Just look at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has turned her own outlook on politics and distinct personality into the now-instantly-recognisable AOC brand.
But it’s not just high-profile public figures who can benefit from cultivating their personal brands. From your LinkedIn page to your social media profiles, you too craft your own individual narrative, and this can hugely impact your company’s prospects of success. This largely boils down to the fact that you’re a representative of your enterprise, and the power branding has in shaping people’s perceptions and distinguishing you from competitors. As noted by brandable domain agency Novanym: “Branding is the difference between a cool, refreshing glass of Pepsi and a sticky cup of unbranded ‘cola drink’. The taste can be almost identical. The experience won’t even come close.”
With corporate and individual branding increasingly associated, here’s why building a strong personal brand is so important.
1. It creates trust
According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies, an astonishing 96% of consumers mistrust traditional advertising. This is why so many brands are teaming up with influencers, as people are much more likely to listen to someone who looks, speaks and acts like them, over a faceless corporation. As such, it’s no surprise that 92% trust user-generated content over traditional advertising. An individual brand feeds into this desire for a personal touch and can help to build trust in your business.
2. It helps you stand out from the crowd
You could be the most knowledgeable person in your industry, but if somebody searches for your field of expertise and a competitor is the only one who demonstrates a great personal brand, you could risk losing out on business. Having a distinct persona gives you an opportunity to show off your expertise to an audience, and help you distinguish yourself from those who haven’t taken the time to develop their own personal brands.
3. It leads to connections and opportunities
Having a personal brand is a surefire way of connecting with others. Platforms like LinkedIn make it incredibly easy to interact with fellow professionals, and a strong online presence will encourage people to approach you. This can be invaluable when you consider that 80% of professionals recommend networking as a pathway to career success. And as an individual, you are more likely to be asked to attend speaking engagements or networking events, which can allow you to further expand your professional circle and establish your corporate personality.
4. It creates authenticity
In an era where companies are coming under fire for dishonest data management practices, authenticity has never been more important. Authenticity is seen as increasingly valued in the business world, with 86% of consumers supporting authentic brands who communicate honestly about what they do, are accountable to their customers, and have a touch of vulnerability about them.
Your personal brand is intrinsically connected to your character, and stems from your skills, career goals and values. It also lets you present potential customers and clients with an authentic extension of your company. Presenting yourself and your brand authentically lets you show that you can be relied upon, and are a trustworthy entity. With your personal brand serving as such a useful way of displaying this to consumers, it’s an invaluable means of building relationships with them.
5. It builds confidence
In a corporate context, confidence comes from reflecting on and sharing your best qualities, and marketing yourself as a leader in your field. As put by writer Susan Chritton: “Your personal brand done well highlights your strengths and gives you a direction in which to use them.” An upturn in consumer confidence can spark an improvement in personal performance, improving your business’s prospects in turn. Studies have shown that confident individuals are more persuasive, with people often swayed by how confidently someone expresses what they say. As such, this can lead to greater faith in your brand.