By Robert Donnelly
Why is personal branding important today?
Technology is automating jobs out of existence and altering traditional career paths in the process. Those being displaced typically do not have a career plan and do not know what to do when made redundant. Competition for remaining jobs is intensifying exponentially and those jobs have transitioned to social media platforms. Additionally, new jobs being created by technology require skills that those being displaced do not have, nor can they be learned quickly. Thus the need for anyone to continue their career successfully is to develop their own personal brand to market themselves more effectively on social media in the new world of work.
Leading the way…
The epitome of personal branding is when the CEO is the brand. Some examples of this are: Steve Jobs, Ralph Lauren, Jeff Bezos, and Howard Schultz, to mention a few. Jobs was Apple and Apple was Jobs, Ralph Lauren is Polo and Polo is Lauren, Bezos is Amazon and Schultz is Starbucks. Jobs knew what customers wanted before they did and created devices that were extremely functional and the epitome of cool in design. Lauren gave his customers the ability to take on the aura of wealth with his Polo player logo and unique ability to design very stylish clothing season-in and season-out. Bezos has given his customers the "Everything Store" with a "click" of access. And, Schultz has provided his customers "the third place" where they can go for a unique mix of business and socialising over a cup of coffee. Every CEO needs to take on the DNA of their company brand and "walk the talk" for the ultimate success of their companies. Otherwise they are presiding over brands that are not part of them.
Leveraging your personal brand
Once you have created your personal brand you need to embellish it by a continuum of successes related to your unique skill set. For example, by associating your brand with other successful brands i.e. companies that you have worked for, other brands that you have enhanced, articles that you have written to establish yourself as an expert at brand building, and lastly by establishing your unique formula for building brand equity. Today social media allows for anyone to enhance their personal brand by participating in and promoting your personal brand on all the social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Blogging is an excellent way to build your personal brand reputation and to establish a wide collection of followers. The ultimate goal should be to write a book about your unique technique to help build brand equity, as well as the personal brand of individuals.