Think a personal brand is just for CEO's, business leaders, and social media 'influencers' with 100k+ followers? What if I told you that you already have one, you probably just don't know it.
If someone is going to work with you or buy from you, you can rest assured that they will look you up online, and your online profile can be more effective than your CV.
Take a second to Google yourself.
What are the results?
Probably your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, company profile, maybe you were mentioned in a local news article, perhaps you're listed as a speaker at an event, or your name is on a JustGiving page from a fundraising event you took part in.
What about the images....are they professional headshots, action shots during a speech, or are they tagged photos from a night out you'd rather forget (or probably have done)?
These results are your personal brand.
Experts estimate that it takes less than 1/10th of a second for someone to make an impression of you from a photo. If that impression is negative do you really think they're going to bother spending time finding out more about you?
Let me clear up a common misconception....a 'Personal Brand' isn't about being 'pretentious', 'elitist', or portraying yourself as a 'guru' with a camera crew following you around at all times.
It's about what you say, how you act, how you treat people, who you associate with, and your online and offline presence. It's about being your authentic self and building credibility, and authority in your field in the process.
It's a chance to share knowledge and viewpoints, showcase your expertise and values, build connections, expand your network, and ultimately create opportunities.