Why personal branding is more important than ever

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Whether you’re an employee, freelancer or entrepreneur, cultivating a personal brand – especially online – has become more important than ever. In this article I want to highlight the importance of personal branding, and why the moment for personal branding is now. Stick with me!

Passion project

First and foremost, I started with blogging because I felt that I had a lot to say. I had been following several blogs for a couple of years and the idea that you can use that online as your canvas and use it as your digital outlet attracted me BIG TIME.

Also, the things that I wanted to talk about were a bit different from what I was already reading and watching in the media. I felt there were certain subjects and messages that weren’t sufficiently shared or promoted enough. For example, there is a major focus on the latest news, but there are so many topics too that are going on for years in peoples lives without any media attention. Take for example diarrhea. I’ve been interested in the world around us.

Additionally, the idea of building an online audience with like-minded people really excited me.

Long after that, I started to think of the blog as a brand. As something that could turn into a source of income, more work that I liked and a great portfolio.

I know I’ve been talking about personal branding untill now in a way that’s more about purpose and passion, than of bitter nessacity. But in today’s world it is a fact that personal branding has gained importance for at least two reasons.

1. You’ll be screened online

The first reason why personal branding has gained importance nowadays, is that the work force has changed very much. Recruiters prefer to use social media for hiring new employees. One of the challenges that employers face during that hiring process is talent shortage. It’s one of the biggest hurdles faced by recruiters in 2018 and has remained the core reason to search for workers on social media.

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of the employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process. Therefore, 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.

A second challenge recruiters face in this time of era that makes them screen candidates online, is the so-called candidate driven market they experience. According to research, recruiters and employers find it difficult to deal with candidate demands and job seekers are kind of passive in looking for a job. That’s why employer branding is increasingly used nowadays. In my blog Why I like Employer Branding, you can read more about the value of this kind of marketing for companies to attract the right candidates.

Due to these recruitment challenges, recruiters hire via social media and look at people’s social profile to estimate whether they are eligible for them. This has changed the way talent is found and in turn, brings new opportunities to talents to make themselves more visible.

2. Work is becoming more fluid

Another reason of the importance of personal branding nowadays is that work is becoming more fluid. This has two important causes.

Less fulltime workers needed

The average person switches jobs every 2 to 3 years, and by 2020, freelance and contract workers will make up 43% of the U.S. workforce. Therefore, the gig economy is bigger than ever.

Diane Mulcahy, the author of The Gig Economy, says in the Washington Post:

We’re seeing only one trend here, which is that the gig economy is big and getting bigger. Companies will do just about anything to avoid hiring full-time employees. Add to that the fact that there is no job security anymore, and workers are increasingly aware that they need to work differently if they want to create any sort of stability for themselves.”

Although the gig economy is nothing new to the lower parts of society, the spread of gigs into middle class and white-collar jobs and into the business model of highly valued and highly visible tech startups definitely is something new.

Basically, the gig economy promotes a new way of working. First and foremost, work is becoming much more fluid. Workers have increasing control over when and where they work. This makes them less tied down and more flexible.

Diplomas are becoming less important

This flexibility is due to the rise of the importance of skills over lending over your degrees, titles and other credentials.

Ernst & Young for example, has removed academic criteria as a requirement for its entry-level positions. E&K in the UK conducted an internal study of 400 graduates and found no evidence correlating professional success with prior education, but they did find that strengths-based and numeric assessments were good indicators of whether a candidate would succeed at the firm.

It’s an early and bold move away from the signaling effect of college grades and degrees.

 It’s an economy of skills, that values specific knowledge and experience and promotes a new way of working. Those who master their craft with skills that cannot be replaced soon by computers are the winners of today.

Therefore, the book adapts to the idea that when the gig economy continues, not only the way we work but also the way we live is going to change.

The Gig Economy offers you practical stuff and possibilities to arc your own journey and create your own path. I highly recommend the book because it functions as a guide or toolkit to get you through the changing landschape of todays labor market.

Consequences

As a result, the importance of personal branding is bigger than ever. Workers need to be able to clearly communicate who they are and what they do to stand out to prospective clients and employers.

William Arruda, author of Ditch, Dare, Do: 3D Personal Branding for Executives, confirms that, “If you want to be successful, you need to think of yourself as a personal brand”. “A personal mission statement is a critical piece of your brand because it helps you stay focused.”

Therefore, taking control over your personal brand and effectively managing your online reputation is important to not loose out on business.

Especially for creative workers. The importance of personal branding is nowhere so visible as in that industry. Namely, 55% of the creative workers is freelancing.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for a better job or more sales for your company, the importance of personal branding is bigger than ever.

Like I said earlier, this is due to changes in the labor market. This not only influenced the way we work and the way recruiters hire workers, but also the way we live.

And so building a personal brand out of passion and purpose in todays era comes with more.

A true, meaningful and authentic personal brand may be not only beneficial for yourself, it may also be beneficial voor employers and recruiters as well to attract the right people.

Personal branding can help you build your dream career on the condition that this is done correctly. Whether that’s in business, or as a employee. You just have to start with understanding your worth.

So personal branding doesn’t happen overnight. It’s imperative to be able to communicate your purpose and mission to your audience in a genuine way.

In the blog 3 personal brand examples to inspire you, you can find some examples of famous people who have built incredible personal brands through hard work, consistency and a long-term focus.

And the truth is: in todays era where social media can give you everything you need to stand out from the crowd, you don’t need to be Oprah or Richard Branson to have a great personal brand.

It’s just a matter of continually crafting and curating your digital presence. The one that is real, honest and transparent and reflects who you are. On the long term, it will differentiate you from others.

I also wrote other blogs about personal branding. Head over to these blogs:

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