How Important Is Your Personal Brand Really?

 How important is your personal brand to your professional goals? Should you develop a personal brand if you are a traditional employee? Will it really help with promotions? Or should you have a personal brand if you are starting a side hustle or self employed? What are the benefits of a personal brand and how do you create one? - The Confused Millennial

 

Over the last two weeks, the topic of personal branding has come up a lot for my audience. Whether you are seeking traditional employment, launching a side hustle, or taking the full leap into self-employment a strong personal brand can be a major asset to reaching whatever your career goals are (whether it’s a promotion, your next client, or sale).

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

For the traditional career path: It’s not enough to have a twitter account that you only tweet about the Bachelorette (Seriously, is anyone else #TeamDerek this season? *UPDATE: I wrote this post before this week’s episode! He’s definitely going home next week)… but rather leverage social media platforms to brand yourself as an expert in a specific skill 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 nobodies business? Show them that you are that person! By developing a strong personal brand and becoming well known for that it can lead to promotions for you (because if that’s how you spending your free time, imagine what you could do if you were getting paid!), or it can lead to recruiters or other companies that take notice of your skills and want you! As millennials, we have way more potential than actual results in the workforce, so by showing employers that you have an innate skill that you are genuinely passionate about, they will take notice and have a deeper belief, trust, and respect in you and your ability to be that ideal employee.

 

For the 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. You could set these up using either your name, maiden name, middle name, some sort of moniker or the name of your side hustle. Really take a moment 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? Keep in mind that you don’t want to do something so out of left field that if it grows you won’t be able to grow the brand with that name too. Then 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!

 

For the self-employed: 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), for added credibility down the road, increased visibility, and an overall safety net. So 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. This “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? Plus, when I am working with larger company for independent contract work, they are more drawn to my polished personal brand, and most don’t know about my lifestyle blog, but my blog readers always find out about my professional self and coaching.

 

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, Periscopes, Facebook Lives, or Instagram Chats to showcase your expertise, join Facebook or Linkedin Groups and 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, oh many the list goes on and on! 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 personal Twitter, but my Facebook is pretty private (it’s not even my real name!), people constantly find and friend me on that Facebook profile (even though I have a dummy account with my real name, they quickly realize that it’s not really my true Facebook). 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” because 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, make sure only friends can see (not friends of friends), and even with good privacy settings, thing before you post! Once it’s out there, even after you delete it, it’s never really gone. So be smart!


Want to learn how to brand yourself on Instagram as an Influencer in your Industry? Join my 3-day e-mail course!

 


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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!