5 reasons to get started on your personal brand now (because it’s easier now than it will be in a years time…)
I get a lot of questions about personal branding; is now the right time? Should I do it in the future? Is it something that matters for me?
9 times out of 10 the answer is: it matters, and it is something that you should do now. Whether you work for yourself or you work for a company, having an online brand and an online reputation is crucial now and it’s going to be even more crucial in the future. Being able to establish yourself as someone who knows what they’re talking about and is a leader in their field, who shows passion and interest and skill online – that’s always going to be valuable.
If it’s a case of when, then I would always say that now is a really good time to get started and I’m just going to go through the 5 reasons why right now.
1. Building your personal brand will outlast any of your jobs or businesses
You are you, and what makes you unique is the reason people are interested in following you. For example, let’s say that you built a brand and a following around a certain job and then you decide you want to start your own business. You’ve already got a following because you’ve spoken about your passions in relation to your job…but is that going to work in the next phase? Well, possibly you’re going to start a business or freelancing service linked to your previous job and, because you’ve already shown passion and skill, that means that actually the right people are already following you and will potentially want the things that you sell or deliver!
Your personal brand will outlast any job or business. When you close or sell a business, its social media channels go, too; whereas you and your personality, your experience and the story you’ve told? That’s everlasting. That means that you’re layering – constantly improving, constantly building the “you” that people see online.
2. It establishes you as an expert
Whether it’s something that’s specific to your job or maybe a hobby, something you’re interested in that you want to share, having a personal brand niched in that particular area is the best and easiest way to establish yourself as somebody who knows something about that area and is an expert in it.
When people go to look for somebody in that area, they Google or somebody says “Oh, I’m looking for somebody in this space” – they’ll find you. Easily!
So, for example: I’m Hannah Power – you know, “Oh! that’s the one in Personal Branding”.
That’s what I want to be known as – I want somebody to be at a networking event and say “Yeah, I should work on my personal brand…”, and then somebody says, “Oh! You should talk to Hannah Power!”.
Establishing yourself as an expert online or a leader in your particular area or niche is hugely, hugely valuable.
3. It’s a hobby which makes you feel GREAT
Often, we’re doing something for work that isn’t quite in our flow; we know that having a hobby is a really good way to get personal fulfilment in a different way.
If you’re not already doing that thing you’re interested in for a living, then having a personal brand around those things can help. For example, when I did my law degree, I wasn’t really loving it. I started a blog to talk about fashion and technology and media and all these things that I was interested in. It gave me something else to do – something that I was interested in – and that feeling of fulfilment and interest is something that ended up leading me to where I am now, in personal branding.
I think having a hobby is really important and I think having one that enables us to use technology in a positive way is extremely useful because, if you think about it, we’re on our phones or laptops anyway! We may as well do something useful that makes us feel good rather than bad.
I always make a joke that I probably spend the least amount of time on social media out of everyone I know, because I actually am more interested in saying something than scrolling and reading a lot of stuff – I’m interested in what others have to say, but I set specific time aside to engage with and read what the people I follow are saying. Better to be the one putting stuff out there than the one who’s constantly consuming it! So, that’s another great thing about personal branding around your hobby; it makes you a little more conscious about what you’re consuming because you become a content creator rather than a content consumer.
4. Connect with new people
The second you start building a brand in an area that you’re super interested in and putting out content that engages, you start to connect with new people in that space.
We all love our friends and families but we’re often interested in different things and, by building a personal brand and space for something we’re super into, we connect and engage with people who are also in that space.
For example; for me, I’m all about helping skilled and passionate experts and entrepreneurs to become known online, which means that I am constantly engaging with and speaking to the most incredible, interesting, extraordinary and skilled people, who I wouldn’t necessarily meet in another context. Even on my sales calls, I’m learning about new technologies, I’m learning about history, I’m learning new things about the internet, about industries I hadn’t heard of before, I’m learning about new skills. I’m learning about so many things because I’m connecting with new people interested in the same things as me.
Building a personal brand is a great way to connect with new and fascinating people.
5. The opportunities a personal brand gives you
Personal branding is hard to measure in terms of direct ROI, unless you’re selling a product or a service. If it’s just a personal brand, the best ROI to track is opportunity. I’ve had so many opportunities because of my personal brand, whether it’s one relating to a job I did over one summer (doing the marketing for a Volkswagen car dealer), to getting my first remote job, to then actually building my agency when I started my first business. It was all down to having a personal brand; having a place where people could go and learn about me, see my values and see what I’m about, see what I’m good at and what I care about.
It was because I had a space where people could engage with me on a personality level, which is so different to a business level – people engage with people. When you start a business, it’s usually an extension of you – your business represents you, your values and what you believe. But, because I already had that established online through my personal brand, people could already see what I was about. And they approached me!
The opportunities when you have a personal brand are huge. All of these points really do equal opportunity and, for me, personal branding enables you to live a life that you really want and is in line with who you are. Because your personal brand is you; it’s your personality, it’s what you’re about, it’s what you’re interested in. It establishes you online and creates those opportunities.
And in case that wasn’t enough… organic reach is fading fast
Every single day, organic reach is becoming harder and harder to hack. Five years ago, a huge number of big brands and big influencers we now know were able to game a system which was, quite frankly, much easier to game back then. Now, it’s becoming harder and harder. All of these platforms we use make their money by selling ads – which means organic reach is becoming less and less impactful, less and less possible to achieve. These platforms (like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc) are turning their platforms into ad platforms; so, in six months, a year, even a week from now, the opportunities are going to become slimmer and slimmer. You can see it happening already! For example, you can see less stuff on your Facebook and your Instagram feed than you used to – you get fewer likes, you get fewer followers – and that’s because these platforms are making it harder and harder to grow brands.
So when I say now, I literally mean now! Now is the time! If you’re going to put it off until the end of the year or next year, you may as well just keep putting it off and putting it off for forever. If you don’t start now, when are you going to start? You’re always going to be busy, you’re never going to be 100% sure on your niche, you’re always going to want to do this aspect better or think about doing that aspect in a different way.
The best thing to do is to just to get started, then make changes and improve as you go along.
So, remember: be prolific not perfect – get going and leave the perfectionism to the procrastinators.
I’m hoping that these 5 reasons have not only given you a bit of context as to why I’m so into personal branding, but will actually also help you to think about doing it now, not later!
As always, I would absolutely love your thoughts. Join my Facebook Group if you’d like some support with your brand and if you enjoyed this and think you know someone who’d benefit from reading it, I’d love you to share it.
Always celebrating you <3