Is your personal brand ruining your business potential and dragging your reputation through the mud? Before you respond with, “But I don’t even have a personal brand,” you need to understand that everyone whose name is found on the internet already has a personal brand. In a nutshell, your online reputation is your personal brand. So if you’re on Facebook FB -0.48%, Twitter TWTR +7.25%, YouTube, a blog, etc., then you already have a personal brand – even if you’ve never spent a single second trying to work on it.
And that’s the key: to develop your personal brand, you need to be proactive. You want to take control of your online reputation, shape it and mold it. You want people out there to see the real you, and you want to present yourself in the best possible light without coming across as superficial.
So why do you even need to work on your personal brand, anyway?
The Importance of a Personal Brand
Your reputation is everything. Your credibility is the foundation of all your future success. Therefore, your personal brand should be considered a big deal.
When you go to apply for your next job – and the one after that – you can bet that your prospective employers will be Googling your name and looking over your social media profiles. You want to make sure that they like what they see, as your personal brand will either improve or hurt your chances of getting those jobs.
Spread this out over the course of several jobs and several years, and you can easily see how your personal brand (your online reputation) will either advance your career or will hold you back from fulfilling your goals.
But your personal brand won’t just impact your future career outlook; it can help or hurt you with your current employer. Consider the case of award-winning journalist Wendy Bell who, after 18 years with the company, was fired over a Facebook post which her employers deemed to be inappropriate and unprofessional.