Personal branding isn’t something most of us think about on a daily basis. In fact, for many of us it feels a bit unnatural. Those of us who prefer privacy don’t particularly like it whatsoever.
Like it or not, we have an obligation to ourselves as well as our employers and the organizations to which we belong to manage our personal brand in today’s digital world. Failure to manage it quickly makes our online brand our “weak link”. And weak links make us vulnerable.
The positive benefits of embracing and owning your personal brand are many, and seeing these unfold in my clients is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. I’m energized to see how empowered people become when their LinkedIn profiles actually “telegraph” their goals, career aspirations and core values, especially job-seekers whose search efforts have stalled. Or it may be a case of mis-alignment that we correct, when LinkedIn profiles telegraph one message, and resumes another. Mixed messages are never helpful, even when they are silently delivered online.
And then there’s the matter of reputation management. Although some people see it as a bit narcissistic to have a significant collection of testimonials from others extolling their virtues online, having that solid base will likely come in handy one day. Complaints and accusations fly quite liberally in this online world, so you never know when an unhappy customer, a mistaken identity, or some other reputational attack can land at your feet, for all the world to see. That’s when you’ll be delighted to have so many friends and colleagues in your corner—who ideally have been vouching for you online for years—so all the world can see that, too.