To succeed in today’s world, branding is essential. Whether you’re a professional or a small business owner, you need to know how to brand yourself in order to stand out and be noticed. The competition is fierce today, and you really need to be an invaluable brand so that you will always be in demand.
Some people consider their personal and professional brand two different things. Their personal brand is more about what they do and enjoy, and includes their hobbies and sidelines. Their professional brand is their work, whether they’re an employee, a small business owner, or a service provider. They enjoy keeping things separate, with their personal brand in one corner and their professional brand in the other. They don’t work with their friends, and they’re not friends with their co-workers.
But is your personal and professional brand really two separate things? When you go to work, do you really leave your personal brand at home and transform into your professional brand? Are you a different person at work, and a different person at home?
Or isn’t that a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing?
At your core, you are really just one person. Maybe you appear stricter at work, and you tend to be more relaxed and happy at home, but you still carry the same values, beliefs and philosophies that make you who you are.
This is why even if you may keep your work and personal life separate, your personal and professional brand are one and the same. Job recruiters, hiring managers, potential clients and customers, these people don’t just want to know your professional image. They want to know who you really are, so they Google you, check out your social media accounts, and even talk to people who know you. This is why it’s essential that you control and manage your search engine results since this is what people will also consider before hiring you or getting your products or services.
You only have one brand, so it’s critical that you take care of it. Word of mouth marketing is what’s important nowadays, since people are getting smarter about what they buy as well as where they buy from. Whether you’re looking to be hired, or offering products or services, you have to maintain a consistent brand, and be someone people can like and trust.
Maybe you work for a company, and you consider this your professional brand, since you’re helping the company grow and become better. On the other hand, the company is also helping your personal brand, since you learn a lot in your work for them, and you get to meet and network with other professionals. This network can prove to be invaluable to the success of your brand.
Truly, your personal and professional brand is one and the same. It’s not that one ends where the other one starts, no. Basically, you are your brand, and it’s up to you to manage it. You may represent a company or business, but that’s still you – you don’t transform into a robot when you join a company. You bring with you your beliefs, philosophies, biases and prejudices. It’s your brand at the core regardless of where and who you work for.
Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks | a word of mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks “work” and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz, she facilitates online visibility services and word of mouth coaching and workshops – taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy,