In this guest post, founder of branding studio WRD and CEO of The Creative Fringe, Debbie O’Connor (pictured below), offers her tips on how any of us can turn ourselves into our own personal super brand…
Developing your personal brand can have a significant impact, not only on your career, but also on your business or the company that you work for. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur the power of personal branding is more prevalent in today’s ‘brand new world’ than ever before.
Simply look at people like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Oprah to name a few. They are people who have leveraged off their personal brand resulting in better recognition, exposure and sales for their businesses.
But it’s not just entrepreneurs who are using their personal brands to elevate their business. Intrapreneurs are employees working within a business that have built a reputation that can positively affect the company that they work for. Examples such as Gail Kelly who became one of Australia’s most prominent business women and CEO of Westpac, and Ita Buttrose previous editor of Woman’s Weekly who has gone on to be a house hold name in her own right.
The person behind the brand can be just as powerful and effective as the brand itself – after all, people like to do business with people, and we love a good story where individuals rise to the occasion.
Five super powers of personal branding:
- Thought leadership
If you are the person authentically, honestly and openly talking, educating and sharing information on a particular topic or cause, you have a much better chance of becoming a thought leader for your industry. If you are prepared to shout it from the mountaintops, create content, post on social media and engage in robust conversation, this will result in you becoming the go-to when it comes time to comment on the topic. This kind of exposure to the media and the market is one of the super powers of a personal brand.
Once you become the go-to for all things relating to your topic, you start to build credibility. And credibility leads to respect and referrals. In a Nielsen survey it states that people are 4 times more likely to buy when referred to a person or business and 92 per cent trusted referrals from people they knew.
In the Edelman Trust Barometer survey for the first time in 17 years it showed a decline in the level of trust in business, media, government and NGO’s. The reality is that we trust people more than we trusts brands. Statistics show that brand messages reached 561% further when shared by individuals rather than through the official brand channels. If you become a thought leader who has credibility and respect, it will result in trust. And trust is the backbone of any connection.
Once you have built your reputation, credibility and trust, your personal brand allows you the opportunity to have more impact on more people. Sharing your wisdom or passion with multiple people or organisations rather than those in your immediate circle. I love the example of Simon Sinek who catapulted to fame after his Ted Talk on ‘Start with Why’. He has now become a thought leader on inspiration and has impacted millions of people around the world who now talk about ‘their why’ rather than ‘their what’.
Your personal brand allows you to leverage off your knowledge and the contacts it exposes you to. This leverage can open doors to bigger and better opportunities and experiences. Let’s face it, if Oprah rang you, you would drop everything to attend to her call and her every need! This type of leverage becomes more possible the stronger your personal brand is.
Is it time to harness your personal brand super power?