How Important Is Your Personal Brand Really?

Personal branding, how to create a personal brand, career tips, why you need a personal brand

*Archive Post: This post was originally published on 6/23/16*

Over the last two weeks, the topic of personal branding has come up a lot for my audience. A strong personal brand can be a major asset to reach your career goals. It’s something to consider whether you are seeking traditional employment, launching a side hustle, or taking the full leap into self-employment.

Some things to consider for your personal brand whether you are a traditional employee, side hustler, or self-employed:

Traditional career path:

It’s not enough to have a twitter account that you only tweet about the Bachelorette. Instead, leverage social media platforms to brand yourself as an expert in a specific area that your company craves. Are they looking for someone to unlock social media strategies? Are they looking for someone that can network like it’s nobody else? Show them that you are that person!

Developing a strong personal brand and becoming well known for that it can lead to promotions for you! Just think about it from an employers perspective: if that’s how you spending your free time, imagine what you could do if you were getting paid! On the flip side, it can lead to recruiters or other companies taking notice of your skills and want you! As millennials, we have way more potential than actual results in the workforce. You are taking a major step forward by showing employers that you have an innate skill and are genuinely passionate about it. Employers will take notice. In turn, they will have a deeper belief, trust, and respect in both you and your ability to be that ideal employee.

'As millennials, we have way more potential than actual results in the workforce'Click To Tweet

Side hustler:

Okay, maybe you already have a career and don’t want to put it on blast that you are trying to break free from your 9-5… in that case, I would set up entirely new and branded social media platforms. Consider setting the pros and cons of setting these account up under an alias or your personal name. If using your personal name, would you care if your current employer discovered the account?

Some other things to consider: if an employer Googled you, would they be able to find that this is connected to you? And if so, would you care? You don’t want to do something so out of left field that if it grows you’ll hurt your current career or you won’t be able to grow the brand with that name too. Next, get to networking with your newly branded social media profiles! Build relationships, be present, and start building that “like, know, and trust” factor with your audience!

Build relationships, be present, and start building that 'like, know, and trust' factor with your audience!Click To Tweet

Self-employed:

PSA: You are your brand when you’re self-employed! You should have a strong personal brand, especially if your company or blog is under a different name. This adds credibility down the road, increased visibility, and an overall safety net.

'PSA: You are your brand when you're self-employed!'Click To Tweet

For example, if I ever decide to shut down TCM, I always have Rachel Ritlop to fall back on. Rachel Ritlop is way more polished and professional than TCM, and if I ever decide to go work for a company again, it’ll be a lot easier for Gen X to understand than TCM. Furthermore, despite TCM having a much larger digital presence, I still get plenty of brands and clients reaching out through my personal brand of Rachel Ritlop (#credibilityfactor)!

My “personal” brand showcases me as a career and business expert that gets written up in Forbes, Monster, and Fast Company…. that looks pretty serious to a potential employer! If I can get that kind of press for myself, imagine what I could do for a company?

How to brand yourself on social media: It’s actually really easy! Share relevant articles and up to date research, create your own weekly or bi-monthly Twitter chat, partake in Twitter chats, Facebook Lives, or Instagram Chats to showcase your expertise, join Facebook or Linkedin Groups. Connect with others to build your social credibility and social proof (testimonials, references, praise, etc.), share people’s content that you want to build a relationship with and then cold e-mail them! The possibilities for growing your brand are truly endless. You can build a personal brand by spending 10 minutes a day on it or 10 hours a day on it! It solely depends on what you’re goals are, so make sure to get really clear on those before you start wasting time without a strategy!

 

Lastly, don’t forget about your other social media profiles just because you have a polished personal brand!

What do I mean by that? I have a polished or “branded” personal Twitter and Facebook, but also a personal Facebook profile is pretty private (it’s not even my real name!). People constantly find and friend me on that super secret Facebook profile even though I don’t promote it anywhere. People will look for you. Make sure that your truly personal accounts are cleaned up.

Privacy settings on social media are not something you 'set and forget,' they change!Click To Tweet

I can’t stress this enough: Facebook and other social media platforms are constantly updating their privacy settings. Privacy settings on social media are not something you “set and forget!” They change and we ignore the little notice they send out! So ever 3-6 months check your privacy settings, make sure they are as private as possible. Consider unlisting your “real” personal pages from search engines. Double check only friends can see (not friends of friends). Remember, even with good privacy settings, think before you post! You never know who is a friend of a friend. Once it’s out there, even after you delete it, it’s never really gone. So be smart!

 

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  • Joy Johnson

    These are many of the reasons I rebranded my blog! I hope to add a side hustle to my blog that caters to web designing, but my previous name and brand didn’t fit that for me at ALL. Branding is so important!

    • NICE! Glad you are moving towards more and more clarity! So cool!

  • Alanna at Alanna and Company

    For me, it’s all about the side hustle. I’m actually really proud of my blog. I put it in my resume, I’ve talked about it during interviews all though I always make sure to say it’s just a hobby, but I’ve always been able to related something from blogging back to a career skill.

    • Thats awesome! Blogging is so labor intensive and skill based that I feel like you can relate it back to 99% of jobs today! Glad you are using it as a resource for your paycheck!

  • Paige Allison

    Great advice! Especially for people to really ramp of those security settings on their personal pages if they’re a public blogger. I had to re-do all of that when my blog started to take off and weirdos started to "friend" my personal account too – no thank you!

  • Morgan Flinchum

    Settings up separate accounts for my blog was one of the best decisions I made! I also never really thought about using my personal social media’s to brand myself for my full time career. Genius!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

  • Tori Moore

    Branding is SO important – even if you’re just branding yourself! Great tips.

    Tori
    mooretori.blogspot.com

  • Tiffani Grosser

    I couldn’t agree more about always checking your privacy settings! I like to keep my FB at least semi- private, with minimal work friends. I think it’s a great idea to have separate social profiles, especially if you are trying to keep things on the DL from your personal friends.

  • Lily Abolghasemi

    These are so awesome!! Personal brands are so so so important, especially if you’re working for yourself like you had mentioned. Such a good read!

  • Megan Gonzalez

    This is a great guide! And that is a fantastic tip about checking the privacy settings. I would never have thought of it.

  • Autumn Curry

    This is something I have thought a lot about when I decided to re-brand last summer. I decided to keep my previous blog URL and name, but it really took a lot of thinking and time to decide that. I quizzed a lot of people I knew etc. I’m glad that so many people were helpful with the input!! Love this post!

    • Girl your brand is on point! I love what you’re doing!

  • Mckenna Bleu

    Personal brands are so important! And I have to say i’m #TeamDerek!

    • Haha thank you! He fell so far since this was written haha!

  • Greta Hollar

    I love posts like these! It helps you think of things that you haven’t thought about or focused on in a while.

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  • Kristine Circenis

    Personal branding is so important, especially now during a very transitional time where "work" is becoming more fluid and unconventional. Great post!

  • Neely

    This is great! Your brand is so important especially when you work at it full time

  • Shann Eva

    Great tips! My blog is definitely my personal brand, but I’m continually working on updating and improving it. These tips will help!

  • Caroline Moses

    This is honestly so important, regardless of your job status! I definitely think every blogger, creative, millennial and worker in general needs to focus on their branding because their social media says so much about them!

  • Betsy Todd

    Thanks for your share, and nice post

  • Betsy Todd

    Thanks for your share, and nice post

    http://www.missygowns.com/

  • Betsy Todd

    Thanks for your share, nice post

    http://www.missygowns.com/

  • Jordyn Brown

    This post has so many great tips! I’m learning more and more as I’ve been blogging longer how important it is to keep my brand consistent through all of my social media platforms, but I can always get better!

    xoxo, SS

    <a href="http://www.southern-stylista.com">The Southern Stylista</a>

  • Sami Mast

    I think growing your personal brand is so so important! Even if you aren’t hired, employers can still go out and find your social profiles and see what you’re up to, and having a great professional and fun personal brand will help them see if you’re right for them!

    xo
    Sami
    http://www.theclassicbrunette.com

    • Totally Sami! It’s power is often so overlooked!

  • Kayleigh Adam

    Love this! Growing and maintaining your personal brand is so important.
    http://www.kayleighskloset.com

  • Emma Byers

    This is great. We’re still developing our brand and our voice, but being experts at something and being the "go to" for our niche is so important to us as we develop!

  • Alissa Carpenter

    I think it’s important to develop a personal brand and curate content that shares your knowledge, interest, passion for your industry and field. Thanks for sharing

  • Kirsty Pickering Bott

    These are some great tips. I’m about to launch my own personal brand separate to my blog so I have pinned this to come back to. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  • Riva Treasure

    I always forget to change my privacy settings! I like the tips, you really are your own brand and it’s great to remember that!
    http://www.whatrivawore.com

  • This is a great post and I’m definitely going to share this with my little cousin 😀

  • Personal brand = SO IMPORTANT. You represent yourself best. Also CREEPY that people still find your secret account?!?!

    Coming Up Roses

  • Neely

    I think our personal brands are all we have and we HAVE to treat them as such!

  • Miss ALK

    In college and also after in broadcasting school I attended classes solely about personal branding and it was really helpful! In this modern age I think honestly everyone should attend classes on that, especially in communications type majors!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • This is awesome! I’m giving a workshop on personal branding in a few weeks, and I loved what you had to say!

  • Jessica Bradshaw

    These are such great tips and reminders for everyone. Social media is wonderful, but can also be very tricky.

  • Kate

    Great read! Thanks for sharing!

  • Personal branding is huge! Just goes to show how important having clean social media profiles is!

    Carrie | https://carrieeliseandkho.com/

  • Petra Veikkola

    That was great to read! Personal branding is a big thing at the moment. Thank you for sharing!

  • LOVE this, so much importance in growing your personal brand. I have always wanted to develop a community that was more than just Coffee With Summer, hence why I kept all my social handles as my name. Love this, Rachel!

  • Adriana

    I love this so much! Your points on privacy settings especially – it’s so crucial to keep an eye on ALL of your settings! Growing your brand is so important and doing so cohesively only helps you!

  • I really need to update my privacy settings! Like I just set a reminder to do that hahah I also definitely need to work on my personal branding as well as branding for my business. It’s not branded at all but I feel like I might be changing directions with it shortly so I guesssssss it’s okay that I haven’t really branded it yet. But also, no it’s not okay and I should really get on that lol

  • Anna Hubbard

    These are all great things to remember while establishing a brand! Thanks for sharing, girl!

  • Robin

    Great tips! I can absolutely confirm that hiring managers do care about how you spend your free time – not to judge you, as is often assumed, but to see what you’re passionate about! I was talking about this with another hiring manager recently – when hiring writers, having a great blog means so much more than having a journalism degree.

  • Lots of great tips here! I am constantly considering what my 9-5 might think about my blog. But I think that the fact that my blog is related to making my work more accessible, I would hope it would be fine. It does make me a bit nervous to put so much of my personal life out there considering what I do for a living, so I have to be very mindful of that.

  • Such great tips, you always have the best information!!! You are always so helpful.

  • I always forget to double check my privacy settings, even when Facebook let’s us know that they rolled out some changes. I finally decided to do a separate Insta for my blog and I think it’s going to be really great for my online presence! My blog is connected to my name, but I wouldn’t mind if anyone found it! That may change when I get licensed as a clinical social worker, but I’m not sure.

  • These are great tips! Definitely need to keep some of these in mind.

  • Your personal brand is so important! People might not remember my name but they remember my brand, which I work extremely hard on!

  • Bailey

    This is so true! I am not great at this but its so important.

  • Becca

    Great read! This is so very helpful and informative. Thank for this!

  • Kristen Jones

    Yes! Personal brand is so, so important. When I was a hiring manager, I would stalk people’s profiles to see what they did in their spare time to really get a sense of who they are. These tips are so great!

  • Dapper House

    As someone who is new to blogging and just starting on my journey, posts like this helps inspire me to work and put in the effort on the right areas of my blog. These tips are absolutely great!

  • Another crazy helpful and insightful post. So good for so many of us doing our hustle!

  • Oh man, if I’m my own personal brand I might need to polish up my personality! *kidding

    Great tips! We’ve got a blog that is run by 3 people so we’re working with 1 blog brand and 3 personal brands. Lots to choose from!

    http://www.andthenwetried.com

  • thesophiadiaries

    Wow, totally didn’t know you had a separate brand for yourself… you are so inspiring!! I don’t know if I can ever get to that level haha

    • haha yeah its why my business facebook page is my name! It was originally my personal brand! I have a separate twitter and website though! (rachelritlop.com!)

      • thesophiadiaries

        Wow… you really got it together xD

  • Such a great post! I agree with everything you wrote! I am from Europe (Austria) and while Social Media isn’t as important here, I think we all should make sure our personal brand should look polished and clean. You never know who will look at your profile! I got so many job offers through my blog and Instagram – it really is like a portfolio! Thanks for sharing!
    Love, Theresa

  • This is so true! You are your brand when you’re self employed- so true it hurts!

  • Alexandra Elfers

    Great tips! I am currently working on creating a personal brand, but am honestly a little lost on how to capitalize on social media and gain a following. As such, I’m still at my 9-5 job. Thank you for sharing!

  • Brittnee Miller

    I love these tips. I’ve been working on my personal brand and trying to make it my side hustle so this is great. Social media is definitely something I’ve made separate accounts for to keep my personal brand and private life different.

  • I literally never think about the privacy settings! Going to check mine now!

    xx,

    Lacey//theglittergospelblog.com

  • This is so useful and something I definitely don’t think about enough. Great article!

  • This is GREAT advice! I do volunteer management and a little hiring and I social stalk everyone who comes through the door! It’s so important to be cleaned up on social media.

  • I heard recently that your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. I think it’s similar online – your brand is what your google search results say. With the rate that people consume information (and other people), strong and easily verifiable results will speak to your personal brand.

  • It took my three months to have the courage to make my blog known to those around me! I, too, was weighing whether or not I wanted people I worked with to see my work. After thinking about it for weeks on end, I decided I needed to be proud of what I have created! It is who I am now and I want to spread as much joy as possible. xx

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    Love this! Especially “cleaning” up the facebook page. So important if you plan on being a brand. Really great advice!!

  • Yes yes yes! I agree with all of these! Having your own personal brand is crucial when you’re trying to position yourself as an expert and while building your career. A personal brand is good to have no matter what 🙂

  • I kept nodding my head while I was reading this! Having a strong personal brand is crucial when you’re trying to build your career. These are great tips!

  • Caitlin Culver

    Such a great read! A personal brand is the most important thing a person can do for themselves. Thanks for sharing!

  • These are some great tips and I didn’t really think how important the privacy factor is! Thank you!

    xo, L

  • Hannah

    This was a really informative article! I especially liked your last tip about how privacy settings are always changing! I often forget to check on this!

  • Jennifer Schmidt

    This is something that I have been working hard on lately! Trying to keep my social media accounts with a a certain look and feel is harder than I thought it would be.

  • Part of the reason my full name isn’t my website name is I have no idea if I’ll go back to teaching in the school system again. I try to keep my last name unsearchable for that reason because you just never know! Love these tips.

  • mckenna bleu

    It think this post is great and awesome to consider when setting your own personal brand! Social media platforms are definitely a huge thing to consider with your own brand!

  • Shani Ogden

    You make a lot of really great points here. I am working on building my brand, but don’t have a lot of time to do it with being a mom and wife and everything else, but it is slowly being built.

  • Pam Dollesin

    It is extremely important! Great tips and I’m sharing!

    Pammy – joyfulsource.com

  • Love this post! I’ve been doing well on 2 out of my 4 social media’s as far as personal brand but I need to work on the others.

  • Taylor Smith

    Personal brand is incredibly important. I feel like it gives others a good sense of who I am, and should I seek employment in the future, I think it’ll be helpful.

  • Lisa Marie

    You’ve got this down! I am definitely a fish out of water in this area. I need to research this more because I may have a conflict of interest when I get back into the workforce.

  • Ooh this is super interesting to think about. Ha you got me kinda thinking I should stop tweeting about the Bachelorette so much. Too fun though.

  • Macarena Ferreira

    So true about the privacy thing! I’ve checked back a few months later and everything had changed and people were able to find me! Deff something you have to be on top of.

    xo // http://www.thematerialgirl.co

  • Tiffany Campbell

    Yess love this! My blog is currently my side hustle on the way to my full-time hustle. I started completely fresh with all of my branding and I’m happy I did.

  • Carly Ned

    Personal brand is so important! I never thought about using my social media channels to show that I’m a thought leader in my industry!

  • Sydney Power

    Yes!! I totally agree that personal branding is super important. I have branded not only my blog but also myself and I am really proud of that.

  • Ashley Vickney

    LOVE this! Personal branding has gotten me SO many internships. The first one is so important for “traditional career paths”. A lot of my non-blogger friends have asked me what they can do to improve their social media presence and that’s what I tell them!

  • Cat

    I needed that reminder to constantly check on security settings every so often. I am usually very forgetful with that!

  • Great tips! The personal brand on every facet is so key!

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