Marketers constantly think about how to market their products and improve their company’s brand, and maybe even their CEOs personal brand, but they forget that they’re marketing themselves every single day of their life.
Whether you actively think about it or not, every action you take has an effect on how others see you, and subsequent actions both change this initial perception and affect how they’ll treat you given their perception of you.
I recently co-authored a book on personal branding with Jim Kukral, I don’t want to spoil my book on personal branding for you, but I’ll still go into a few points about personal branding:
Personal branding: You vs. Everyone Else
If you were the only person who talked about you then personal branding would be easy: You’d simply figure out what they want to hear and then say it persuasively and effectively. Everybody you know or who has heard about you or has an impression of you has something to say about who you are, your occupation, whether you’re a morally upstanding person, and your reputation.
Other peoples perceptions
These are all parts of your personal branding??that effect how potential clients and employers view you, whether theyll hire you, and how much they’re willing to pay if they do. They wont just find what you say about yourself; they’ll seek out and listen to what other people say about you.
In bygone days, it was hard to change what people thought about you if you had a bad reputation in a circle of people. Media was much more monopolized and controlled by big TV outlets and by radio. The Internet, however, has somewhat democratized peoples ability to control how others view them.
In the past, people had to only rely on employer references to tell whether or not you lived a moral life or were a responsible person. Employers still call references and upper class often see other upper class people as trust agents so they’ll believe what a former employer says over what a potential employee says. However, three quarters of employers do Internet searches on potential employees, and peoples Facebook profiles are often one of the first things that turns up when people search for their name. This gives you the power to determine a potential employers or potential clients first impression of you before you step into the room.