Personal Branding is one of the most emerging and sought-after areas in the field of marketing.
And why shouldn’t it be? According to research, 8 out of 10 marketing searches involves the term Personal Branding.
In recent times, Personal branding has become one of the most engaging terms especially with the rapid growth of social media platforms.
But the term ‘Personal branding’ isn’t new. It was first coined in the early 20th Century by names like Napolean Hill, Tom Peters, and many more.
Yet, over the years it has turned into an entire domain that requires long, relentless research and study.
But you need a simple answer and that is what we are offering here.
The concept of ‘Brand’ existed since ancient times.
From Egyptians using a hot iron to mark and distinguish their cattle to some people labeling a sweet syrup bottle as Coca-Cola.
From early Europeans putting their names on every product, they made or corporate giants fighting for title rights of a football cup.
A brand is part of the past, present, and future.
But when it comes to personal branding, things change. Certainly, it is not easy to use hot iron on people or put a label on them to make them stand out.
But the point is, when it comes to personal branding, it involves an individual and everything that comes along with the person.
This includes their personal values, beliefs, ideas, actions, goals, lifestyle, grooming, fashion, work, and much more.
Just as easy it is to identify a shoe brand with a tick mark, it is easy to identify an individual if he/she incorporates the aforementioned terms.
Again, just like the value of the brand is based on its usability and the user experience, the value of an individual is based on what he/she has to offer new in a specific domain. That makes the individual tick and motivates other people to show faith in them.
So, coming back to the term, the process of developing, maintaining, and promoting this unique identity of an individual is called Personal Branding.
But you may wonder why is it so important? What’s the hype about? Why every single famous personality in the world draws millions of eyes while promoting themselves in their domain?
The importance of personal branding can be summarized in the following three terms:
- Business Opportunity
Let’s make it even simpler.
We will take the example of social media influencer and CEO of Vayner Media, Gary Vaynerchuk.
Also known as Gary Vee.
Through his social media channels, Gary Vee creates content that involves life tips, business advice, motivational monologues directed at the young generation. He lists his very own failures and triumphs in life to share inspiring lessons. He propagates his true self in a confident way.
That brings us to our first point I.e. Authenticity.
By creating relatable and helpful content, he builds trust with the viewers who go on to follow his advice. This goodwill brings us to our second point I.e. Credibility.
His social media marketing techniques show optimum results and engagement. This provides him to sell his strategies via conferences or courses. This brings us to the third and final point, i.e. Business Opportunity.
There are countless individuals that have carved out their careers while using Personal Branding as a tool.
Regardless of the fact, the individual is a celebrity, a musician, or a politician for that matter.
The one thing that is clear is that personal branding not only establishes an individual’s name in the marketplace but it also leads to prospective business opportunities.
So, when people wish to buy a product, they would associate it with an individual they find authentic, credible, and valuable.
And it is quite obvious that it isn’t an overnight process. It is an ever-evolving journey that requires step-by-step evaluation.
So that poses the question, what ensures the success of a personal brand?
Like every character in a story has a start, middle, and end, on similar grounds, personal branding has a start to end narrative that needs to be worked upon.
It starts with careful crafting of a personal brand that involves identifying the true nature of oneself, their values, what they stand for. This is a crucial step to establish a personal brand.
It further comes to showcasing this well-crafted personal brand to the right set of people. Or as we call it ‘target audience’. This achieves relatable personal imagery in the minds of the people that establish faith, trust, and goodwill.
The final step is managing and enhancing one’s personal brand and repeating the process. It ensures the fulfillment of prospective goals and plans.
There you go! A simple yet informative guide on what is personal branding. If you have unique insights to share about personal branding, feel free to share them in the comments section.
This post was derived from the research paper authored by Sonia Dubey Dewan, AICI CIP, Co-Founder of the Indian School of Image Management. This research paper titled, ‘The Role of Personal Image in Personal Branding’ was published by the University of Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina. To read the full research paper, click here.