September 5, 2020

Personal Branding: Definition & Importance

Anshika Awasthi

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is a way of communicating what makes you different and special or the unique value you can offer to your employer or client. In simple terms, personal branding is a journey of establishing one’s career as a brand.

Madonna, Oprah Winfrey & Richard Branson are a few examples of incredibly successful people who have established personal branding. Many middle management professionals and self-employed professionals are using it to their great advantage. The concept has become very popular with the emergence of influencer marketing.

The major online and offline tools of personal branding are:

  • Digital Tools – LinkedIn, Quora, Facebook page, personal blog websites, YouTube vlogs, E-newsletters and so on.
  • Offline Tools – Mass Media, Books/articles Publishing, Associations, Conferences and so on.

Who can Personally Brand Themselves?

Though anyone can go in for personal branding with long term goals and interest, it is more useful for the following categories of professional individuals:

  • Entrepreneurs, especially Small and medium business (to raise credibility among investors and venture capitalists)
  • Lawyers
  • Architects
  • Doctors
  • Actors
  • Professors and experts
  • Consultants
  • Media professionals
  • Social media content creators

Why is Personal Branding Important?

Whether you’re an employee or an entrepreneur, fostering personal branding in the digital era has become important more than ever. Here are 10 reasons in support of why personal branding is important more than ever. Note: Context below primarily focuses on developing countries.

Hyper Competition

70% of employers use social media to scan candidates during the hiring process and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees. In the majority of industries and at most organisational levels there is the easy availability of manpower, the high competition of job applicants including the most qualified professionals. In such a situation, it becomes important to create a unique identity for yourself to separate from the crowd.

Increase in Global Work Practices

Many MNCs in the US train their sales force to do personal branding as it increases sales revenue and the salesperson’s standing in the market. Similarly, mentioning the company website, details, logo, tagline, and everything related to brand identity is a healthy practice of personal branding.

Decreased Job Security Due to Increase in Mergers, Acquisitions and Layoffs

At the moment of writing, the world is going through aa global pandemic. Job security is decreasing every day in the private sector and to make oneself secure and less vulnerable in such a scenario, personal branding is being used as a powerful tool. Many famous people who have influenced their way up on digital platforms have found themselves creating revenue using personal branding as one solid tool.

Competing with foreigners in the Workplace

Many westerns are migrating to eastern countries due to an increase in MNCs and global work environment. Eastern countries who have been following collectivism are now being influenced with individualism via western groups. This is increasing with the increase of remote working which is assumed as the future of the workplace. Since westerns use personal branding, countries like India are also getting familiar with its concept.

Balancing Power and Organisational Interests

Essentially, personal branding makes you less vulnerable by improvising your bargaining power. At the end of the day, you can be more assertive and also more secure. Personal branding is important in balancing personal and organisational interests.

The 4Ps of Personal Branding

The 4Ps of marketing are an important part of any business strategy. A popular term used in management jargon. Similarly, to plan a perfect personal branding strategy, let’s discuss the 4Ps in the context of your personal branding.  

Product: You are the product which you want to sell to the prospective employer or clients. The key product-related elements are described below:

  • Product/Brand Feature: This includes the key characteristics of your personality (physical, spiritual, emotional & spiritual), the key principles which lead you to identify your USP or Unique Selling Proposition.
  • USP: It is the most important strength you have. For example, you’re a trainer and people respect you for your skills in basketball games, these become your USP as a trainer.
  • Product Quality: It includes your competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) which builds your reputation. An architect who is considered an expert is eco-friendly construction is considered a high-quality service provider by clients looking for such services.

Price: The salary you expect from your employer or the fee you expect from your client is the price element of your product. Traditionally, high quality is linked to a high price. You need to decide what will be the price of your service. The ultimate motive of personal banding strategy is to sell yourself as a brand.

Placement: Placement is the distribution of the product. A voiceover artist or a psychiatrist who offer his/her services on digital platforms via video conferencing and other various remote tools is a powerful example of placement of your personal brand. The services can be distributed internationally, nationally & regionally with modern technologies with the help of various remote tools, virtual workplaces and so on.

Promotion: Promotion is the concept of communicating and promoting yourself as a person or service provider. The two important elements are online and offline presence. The major tools for promotion are advertising, sales promotion, PR, publicity, events & direct marketing. These tools contribute to personal branding as well. In today’s competitive world, word of mouth (WOM) and word of the web (WOW) are becoming more significant in building and maintain relationships and encouraging good word of mouth/web. These platforms by virtue cannot be ignored if you wish to get ahead.

Benefits of Personal Branding

 You don’t need to be Oprah or Richard Branson to have a great personal brand. It’s just a matter of continually crafting and establishing your digital presence and most importantly, being consistent with your work! Because your honesty, transparency and authenticity will be your biggest flex which will differentiate you in the long-run.
  • To establish your reputation as a leader in the industry.
  • To brand yourself as an expert of skill & knowledge.
  • Easy networking and professionals at senior government officials
  • More credibility among customers and financial institutions.
  • To become a celebrity in your own right.

Bottom Line

You don’t need to be Oprah or Richard Branson to have a great personal brand. It’s just a matter of continually crafting and establishing your digital presence and most importantly, being consistent with your work! Because your honesty, transparency and authenticity will be your biggest flex which will differentiate you in the long-run.

About the author

Competitive, real; loves to keep working for what it wants. An extrovert who lives by her own ideas and methods.

Leave a Reply

  1. Heyy thank you, this was really insightful! I completely agree with everything being said. I fit the profile of 3 of the categories of professionals you mentioned 😛

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