Chances are, you’ve heard that companies spend a lot of time and money on “branding” – what seems to be a new extension to the marketing department. You may have even heard the phrase “personal branding”, but why should individuals be worried about what marketers in big corporations are concerned about?
You Already Have a Personal Brand... Your reputation is your personal brand.
Yup, it’s true. Everyone with an online presence already has a personal brand whether they consciously curate it or not. Branding simply means how others perceive you. It’s how you present yourself to the world – whether that’s through the tone of your professional LinkedIn profile or those leftover photos from college on Facebook. It happens every time someone hears your name, sees a Tweet from you, or a picture you upload on Instagram.
So, you don't own a business. Personal branding is important because it can have long-ranging impacts on your life. It’s no secret that 93% of hiring managers now check prospective employees’ social media profiles before giving the job offer.
If you think that personal branding isn’t important because it’s never impacted your life, you should take notice that there is no way to know that. An employer will likely not tell you that your online presence – and therefore personal branding – is why they’re choosing to pass on you for the position where you know you’d be a perfect fit.
You Can Only Make One First Impression
And chances are in today’s world, that first impression will be online. Some sources say that the resume is dead. And while that might be a bit dramatic, some surveys show that employers are putting a lot of weight behind what they find on social media, especially online portfolios or blogs. These types of personal websites can be interactive, dynamic, and show off your skills and competencies better than in a traditional resume and employers are finding that out.
A blog is a perfect place to display your thoughts, qualifications, and to add to the discussion in your area of expertise. Blogs present your tone of voice, show your attitude, and help define whether you are as experienced as you say you are.
Shaping Your Personal Brand
Start with your UVP – that is, unique value proposition. Your UVP is a great thing to crystallize in your mind. Define the one thing that makes you different from everyone else that does what you do so that you stick out from the pack and employers instantly understand the value that you bring.
If you do this – and do this well – you will find doors will open for you. It’s important to keep this UVP consistent throughout all your social media platforms. Your resume especially should be the same on your LinkedIn profile.
Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People
Blogging comes with an amazing community of people that are interested in the same thing as you built right in. You’ll find yourself making friends online through comments, social media interactions, and more. Not only is it fun to discuss something that excites you with other people that also love the topic, but you can make vital connections for future jobs or projects you may want to take on.
Make a Difference
With a blog following comes greater influence in the world, which can make it easier to start and successfully complete a project that will make a difference. When you have an active and engaged fan base, you can call on those fans to help you by donating their money or time
Create Another Revenue Source
Blogs can be a great source of revenue. Whether it’s $20 or $2,000 a month, it’s nice to get a little extra mad money from doing a thing that already has so much inherent value. It depends on the type of blog you end up writing. Most blogs get monetized, make money, through at least one of the following ways. Monetization from ads on the website (sidebar and banner ads), affiliate links (where you make a small percentage of all purchases made through a specific link on your site), selling a product or service online through your blog, or even potential clients contacting you directly to work with them in a freelance capacity.
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