Why a Personal Brand Will Be a Must-Have By 2025
Spurred on by the advent of the internet, the ‘personal brand’ is increasingly being considered as an essential differentiator in the professional world. “People buy from people” is a well-known and, perhaps, overused saying. Whether or not it carries any real weight, it is rooted in some truth. Factors such as the gig economy, the rise of social media, and the decline in institutional trust, mean that being able to illustrate your personal value beyond your desk is more important than ever.
So, what is your personal brand?
In short, it is the representation of your personality, your strengths, and your experiences. These come together to create an image, or brand, of yourself. A decade ago, this meant trying to become published in the media, or attending events and networking with others. Now, the idea of a personal brand means a great deal more.
The internet has been the principle factor for propelling the significance of the personal brand. Changing the way we communicate and extending the amount we share, the internet and social media has meant that personal lives are increasingly public. With more and more personal information being digitalised, the need to create a positive personal brand will only continue its surge in relevance. By starting now, you will be one step ahead of the game.
The recent growth in the gig economy, aptly named due to the creation of part-time ‘gigs’, has also increased the need for a personal brand. With freelance work becoming commonplace (freelancers now make up more than a third of the US workforce) and career changes growing in frequency, creating a lasting professional reputation can prove difficult.
Your Personal Brand – An Active Asset along your Career.
Rather than being able to rely on a company brand to facilitate career progression, it is your personal brand which will stay with you throughout your professional life.
With trust in institutions declining (signalled by Edelman’s 2019 Trust Barometer), a personal brand will meet the appetite for individuality whilst bringing a number of other important benefits.
One of the most talked about benefits for creating your personal brand is its employment value. With 70 percent of potential employers vetting your name online before hiring, and almost 50 percent of current employers checking in on your digital profile, the need for a professional brand is evident. Rather than let personal photos and unrelated social media posts dictate judgement on your profile, let a well-curated portfolio of your best work leave an impression.
Aside from its employability benefits, building a personal brand is an important way of growing your reputation within a field. Whether you publish articles on Medium, or you share your best Best Practices with professionals on Eloquens, by circulating your content and expertise, you will start to grow both a network of like-minded people and a reputation within a given field.
Contrary to what its name suggests, a personal brand and its benefits do also go beyond the individual; it can allow you to stand out to your business’s prospective clients. Acting as a representative on behalf of your company, an impressive digital profile helps to cultivate a network outside of the office and bolster your reputability.
Personal Brands are taking over Company Brands in Career Management.
For a company, personal branding for employees is a useful form of marketing that is only going to grow in importance as organisational trust declines.
Your personal brand, whatever the format, and whatever the industry, will give you a reference point to display your work in permanent fashion. The fast-changing nature of the world of work, a decline in institutional trust, and the growing tendency to share online has meant that the personal brand has risen to importance. Yes, creating it can take time and effort but by 2025 it will become an essential for both employees and freelancers alike.