There’s still some mystery behind the a concept of a “Personal Brand.”
What’s the real point?
What’s the best approach?
And most important, what’s the ROI?
In the words of Gary Vaynerchuck: “What’s the ROI of your face?”
Having a Personal Brand is about building equity behind your name and your craft. If people recognize you in a crowd, you hold market value. If people know who you are without needing to be directly told, you hold market value. If people seek you out because they know of who you are and what you're about, you hold market value.
Creating a strong Personal Brand that delivers that kind of ROI takes time. I like to call it a long game. It’s about creating a long-term brand narrative—”an epic”—rather than a series of unrelated short-term tactics. This epic, AKA “your novel,” thus becomes your calling card. It has the power to open up doors of opportunity, grow the credibility of your company or venture, and ultimately expose you to new avenues for income.
So now that we have a general understanding of the importance of a Personal Brand, let’s breakdown the five key tactical benefits to developing your own.
More Effective PR: Products don’t tell stories. People do. Publications are far less interested in brands, compared to the people within or behind the brands making groundbreaking moves towards success. As a thought leader with your own unique voice, you have much more value worth covering and showcasing within a range of publications and media channels.
An Authentic Voice
Making a brand sound “real” is tough. Making a person sound “real” is very easy— because they are a real person. You will create more meaningful, worthwhile connections with your audience as a person and thought leader instead of operating from behind the facade of the brand.
Connect And Collaborate
When you have an audience of your own, this is your clout within the digital landscape. Having an audience allows you to more effectively reach out to and collaborate with other thought leaders, expanding your reach in an organic way that does not feel forced to new audience members. It also allows you to meet and connect thought leaders that may be of significant importance to the success of your venture and/or company.
Having a meaningful Personal Brand inherently means that anything you co-sign is not only credible, but valuable. This can make pivoting and launching in new marketplaces or business arenas a much more manageable task, because wherever you go, people will follow.
Additional Revenue Streams
When you have a personal brand, you aren’t just the face of your company, but you’re also a voice for that industry and your knowledge within it. Many people with successful personal brands go on to teach others how to release personal-brand-specific products or services separate from their primary company or venture, such as public speaking, authoring a book, e-courses and brand sponsorships.
As we enter into this interesting and exciting paradigm, and every person has the power to become a media channel. This includes you. Personal Branding is the new form PR. So I challenge you to think about how you’re utilizing and optimizing the digital sphere to develop your own digital footprint. No matter what your short-term goals are or your long-term vision, developing a strong Personal Brand will no doubt be the key to its success.