Though some people continue to view personal branding as an inflated way of promoting yourself, more and more people are realizing the importance of establishing your personal brand that’s separate from that of your company’s.
A good personal brand is all about reputation, and even companies are realizing that customers don’t want to interact with faceless representatives. People nowadays make decisions to purchase the product or obtain the service of a company because of their association with the product or service itself, and also their relationship with the individual who works for the company. Today, the companies who have distinct personalities within it are the ones succeeding, because the individuals resonate and build a relationship with the customers.
Though many people have thrived creating their personal brands while successfully contributing to the company they work for, others speculate that if you’re working so hard in growing your own brand, then you may not be doing enough for your company. This has led to tensions sparking between the company and the individual, especially when their views and values start diverging. There are also people who outgrow their roles in their companies because of the strong personal brand they’ve created.
This is why it’s important that company and personal brands have similar values and viewpoints. Even before working together – a company should consider the person’s whole package before considering them for a position in their company. You want people who align themselves with your vision, so that you can work together toward a common goal.
When you have people who actively promote the vision of your company and have values that are in line with yours, then it can help bring recognition to your company. Your company’s brand doesn’t have to suffer from the strong personal brand of your employees. On the contrary, this could actually serve as an asset, especially when you encourage your employees to build their personal brand while instilling belief in the company’s vision and values. The company improves, the employees get recognized for their efforts, and the customers get personalized and unique service from the employees. It’s a win-win situation.
What companies should realize is the fact that strong personal brands can actually teach company brands something. This is especially true right now as more and more people get into social media, where it’s all about building relationships, engaging your audience, and managing your content. You engage people more with an individual they can identify with, rather than just a random company representative that answers their question or addresses their concerns.
It is definitely possible for employees to build their personal brands without upstaging their company’s. A healthy balance must be achieved in promoting yourself without appearing aggressive or boastful. You also want to make sure that you don’t contradict your company’s vision and values, especially when you’re putting yourself out there as a representative of the company. Committing this critical mistake is likely to get you kicked out.
If you want to use your personal brand to move up in the ranks of your company, always make sure that your values are aligned with the company’s. And personal branding doesn’t have to mean constantly tooting your own horn; on the contrary, you can become a better brand when you praise your company as well as your colleagues.
You should also remember that certain activities should be done at your own time. When you use the company resources, make sure that you’re only using them for the company’s benefit and not for your own promotional activities. Don’t use your personal brand merely to get attention – focus on sharing what you know, and helping the company you work for achieve greater heights.
For employees, it’s all about the balance between building their brand and keeping their jobs. If you want to use your own blog, for example, to help promote your company’s business, make sure that the company will see that it’s worthwhile, that it’s actually helping people become more aware of the company and even increasing ROI.
Don’t be annoying. Perhaps that’s the most likely thing that can get you fired. If the company starts thinking that you’re not a good representative of their brand anymore, then they’re going to push you out the door.
Nowadays, employees don’t have to be invisible. They now have the means and opportunity to pursue their personal brand while ensuring that they continue to do their work well and give benefit to their company’s. Just remember to always align yourself with your company’s vision and values, so you don’t end up offending your company and possibly even getting kicked out.