I was recently asked to give a quote as a marketing influencer (wow, I still feel very honored to be included on some of these influencer lists!). The task was to complete the sentence “You know you are a marketer when… “
As there are multiple things that make you a marketer, Jonathan and I had a little discussion about this. In the end, we decided to take a slightly different angle for this: “In today’s world everybody is or should be a marketer for something. At least him/herself.”
It starts with finding a new job or going for a promotion and it does not end with finding partners for sports or other hobbies. But it goes even deeper. Instead of “only” branding a company, a product you should also brand yourself as a person. Personal branding is not only important for personal advancement, it also helps to advance your product/service-brand in multiple ways.
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Here are 9 reasons why a personal branding strategy is important:
Are you looking for a new job? Do you want a promotion? A provable track record and a personal brand help with this. Even in personal life finding new friends, sports partners or other relationships – personal branding helps you with connecting and building trust.
People connect to people. They do not connect to products or services. But connecting is a strong factor in business and business decisions. The better you are connected the more you as a person will gain – plus if you are promoting a product or service, your business will gain from your personal connections, too. It does not really matter if you look for personal or business partnerships, a personal brand gives a basis for new connections.
Even if you are not vastly famous, with successful personal branding people recognize you and start to get in touch with you – instead of you needing to start the conversation first. The principle of inbound marketing/networking works with a personal brand even better than with a product brand since it is not so hard to start a conversation with a person compared with a conversation with a product.
Your network will grow as people want to connect to you.
Often the last decision to buy one or another product is not done because of technical differences or monetary advantages. Rather buying decisions are made because the people behind the products are so nice, intelligent, helpful, or informative. When you have two products to choose from, your decision will often be a gut decision strongly influenced by your connection to the person(s) behind the product.
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It is much easier to remember a person than a product. If you want to stay on peoples’ minds: Brand yourself and have people remember your products because they remember you.
A person with all faults, mistakes and personal opinions has a lot more credibility than a robot. If you are human, speak with a human voice and allow your personality to shine through in your brand. People will believe you much more easily. A scientific paper or a reference book might be a good source for facts – but in business, it is often not the hard facts that count but the promises made by people. And you need credibility to make your promises worthwhile.
The product or service you offer may change – you as a person will be still YOU. A personal brand is there to stay – so be careful to brand yourself in a matter you want to be known. It is hard to change your personal brand once you built it. A stupid remark at the wrong time can stick much longer than you like – but a positive impression can also stick for ages without much ado.
Added Value to a Brand
Persons give additional value to a brand – simply consider an influencer working for a brand Steve Jobs for Apple, Robert Scoble for Rackspace, Guy Kawasaki speaking for Canva. In some cases this goes as far as a personal brand changing stock market value. But even if your brand is not as huge – your employer benefits from having employees with a personal brand even if it is just through a little personal activity.
Visibility – Easier Promotion
While a product brand constantly shouting “I am product x” is spam, a person saying “Hello I am Susanna” to people is nice. A person has a ton of ways to connect and talk to other people, where a product is limited – or simply ignored because talking to products feels sometimes a little weird.
Do not underestimate the power of YOU and do not forget to build your personal brand. It will pay off multifold.
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