Either you are going to a business meeting with a new contact or a job interview, people will Google you first anyway. Data shows that more than 90% of people today use the Internet to search for the information about a person before they even have a chance to meet them.
People will check your online social media profiles, website, background, and anything that comes up on Google or other search engines when they type your name into the search box. It only takes 1 minute, and people at the key positions in the business world are smart enough to take that moment to research you.
To achieve business or career success, you need to make sure that your online profiles demonstrate a strong and clear image of you, your background, and experience.
Personal branding is such a powerful tool that if you do it successfully, you will never run out of clients or stay without a job. By human nature, we like to do business with people we know, like and trust.
The bigger your personal brand is, the more people will trust you, the easier it will be for people to find you, the more clients and opportunities you will attract. And as you get to serve more people who will find you easily and be attracted to you because of your branding, the more you can charge for your time and the higher revenue you make.
So what is a personal brand?
Your personal brand is your online footprint showing how people perceive you today online and offline. All the things people find about you when they Google you or check your social media profiles shape your personal brand. All the things people say about you represent your personal brand.
All the products, services, and value you give to the world are also a part of your personal brand. Your personal brand is your online resume.
What you need to ask yourself is what message does your brand give to the world about you?
Right now go online and Google yourself. What comes up is your personal brand.
Some of you might say, ‘I don’t like to have an online presence,’ ‘I don’t like to have social media profiles,’ and ‘I don’t like to have people search me online.’
However, if you are out there running a business or are in the job market, people are going to search for you online whether you like it or not, and anything they find that is lurking around the Internet is what you represent. This is the reality of the marketplace today to which we need to adapt.
As Gary Vaynerchuk says, ‘You need to market yourself in the year you live in.’ So personal branding is actually your only option.
Your reputation online is pretty much the game in today’s business world. If you have created any online profile or commented on someone else’s blog, you already are a personal brand whether you like it or not.