There was a time when a personal brand was limited to a person's co-workers, neighbours, family and friends. In today's Internet- and social network-focused world, personal branding is an essential activity for the success of any entrepreneur.
You could have the best product and company in the world but if prospective clients don't like "YOU' and what you stand for anything thereafter can become irrelevant.
Gone are the days where people used to buy into company brands or products, sure this is still important but nowadays people are buying into people.
Did you know that everyday over 200 Million people search for names and that the "About Us" section is the second most viewed page on the internet?
In my opinion to be in business today, your most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called "You".
Now here's the interesting thing about personal branding ......
Whether you create it or not, there is information about you on the Internet. It may be a little or a lot, but it's out there. So, doesn't it make sense to control what they learn about you?
By doing so you create the foundation for who you are and how you are perceived within your industry by prospects, future business partners and employees both on and offline.
So the question becomes: how do you accomplish this idea of creating a unique personal brand?
To answer this question and to gain a deeper insight into the importance of personal branding I decided to speak with Glen Carlson, co-founder of: Key Person of Influence, the worlds leading personal brand accelerator.
A global organisation that runs training programs and events for small business owners and industry leaders to help them become a key person of influence within their industry.
"Humans have evolved to be attracted to people, not companies. Developing a clear Personal Brand is one of the fastest way to attract big opportunities to accelerate your growth as an entrepreneur." Carlson Says
Glen believes that majority of small business owners in Australia (or any country for that matter) typically face three common challenges.
"Despite being talented people and skilled technicians in their field, entrepreneurs struggle to communicate their value and commercialise it. Ultimately, they feel Undervalued, Underpaid & Under-recognised for what they do" he says.
In a business world where competition is fiercer than ever before and consumers faced with a tone of choices your first impression could be your best or last.
This is why personal branding is now more important than ever before. Personal branding is what entices people to become more connected with your brand name, all while engaging them with the purpose behind your business.
Similar to the way that businesses need to differentiate themselves from others, individuals need to do the same thing for themselves. From establishing an online identity to placing your name on your brand, building your personal brand has never been more important.
Below Glen shares his top 5 tips for any business owners or entrepreneur who is looking to not only build their personal brand but be recognised as a key person of influence within their industry:
1) Don't hide behind your businesses value proposition. To develop a personal brand, you must define why you are unique and valuable, and learn how to Pitch it powerfully.
2) Don't underestimate the effect of your personal credibility. Being an industry commentator, or publishing your own articles or even a book is one of the fastest ways to build authority and visibility in your industry.
3) It's important to commercialise your brand. Productising your skills and experience is about developing products, services and a business that is an authentic expression of who you are as a person.
4) With Google now being the goto source for first impressions, crafting your online Profile is key. When people search your name, they're judging you on the consistency of your brand across websites, blogs, videos & images.
5) You're best known by those who you associate with, reaching out and setting up Joint Ventures and Partnerships with other key players in your industry is how you attract the big opportunities while establishing yourself as a key person of influence in your industry.