According to William Arruda, a senior contributor at forbes, it’s a no brainer that personal branding is an important career development initiative in the competitive work environment today where we seek to have impact, use our talents and support our life purpose. Yet many professionals feel they just don’t have the time or energy to build their brand. One question I’m often asked after my personal branding keynotes is what are the real benefits of investing in building a strong brand? Here are the nine most powerful results of uncovering, exuding and nurturing the brand called YOU:
1. You become famous—selectively famous, actually.
“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” This is the most widely quoted statement Andy Warhol ever made. And I do agree with him that everyone will be famous, but I disagree with him about the “world” part and the duration. The personal branding angle on fame is this: You’ll be famous among the people who need to know you, but you’ll live in total obscurity in the rest of the world. Your aim should be to build a fan club of people who support you and who share your goals and values. The strongest brands turn those fans into promoters who tout their value to others.
2. You minimize imposter syndrome.
Personal branding is all about uncovering your unique, genuine brand and living it proudly. It’s about authenticity and being yourself—your Best Self. When you’re willing to be yourself and live your brand fully, you avoid feeling like you are faking it, and you find true satisfaction in delivering your best work.
3. You attract opportunities.
When you are clear about your brand promise and you commit to sharing it with the people who need to know you, your brand starts to take on a life of its own. People start to know who you are, and you have no idea how they know you. You become magnetic, attracting the people and opportunities you need to be able to achieve your goals.
4. You increase your energy.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh famously said, “The most exhausting thing you can do is to be inauthentic.” It’s truly tiring to play a role every day. The power of personal branding is that you’re never playing a role. Instead, you’re delivering on your brand promise in a way that’s unique to you. It’s not draining; it’s invigorating.
5. You amp up the joy factor. Personal branding means aligning who you are with what you do and how you do it. It’s about connecting your passions to your work while remaining steadfastly focused on your purpose—your “why,” as Simon Sinek calls it. When your work allows you to express your passions and have an impact, work goes from blah to bliss.
6. You grow your wealth.
We pay more for strong brands. A Starbucks coffee will cost you double what it costs at the café down the street. An iPhone can set you back a thousand dollars—more than most competing smart phones. The famous Hermès Birkin bag sells for between $10K and $300K. We pay a premium for strong brands because we are getting more than the product, we’re getting an experience. The same is true for people. If everyone with the same job title were paid exactly the same amount, there would be no incentive to stand out and deliver greater value. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Strong brands earn more for the differentiated value they offer—for the value they add beyond meeting the minimum eligibility requirements.
7. You take control of your career.
Strong brands don’t take what comes to them, they pursue what makes sense for them. They have leverage in negotiations with their boss. They have a say in how work is done. They’re influential, and they’re the keepers of their career.
8. You achieve your goals.
Although effective personal branding is based in authenticity, there’s an aspirational element. Your personal brand is aligned with and directed by your goals. Focusing your branding actions and effort toward your goals is one of the key elements of personal branding.
9. You increase your confidence.
Perhaps the biggest byproduct of building your personal brand is confidence. The self-awareness you gain from going through the personal branding process translates into self-assuredness. And as your brand begins to pay dividends—opportunities, power brokers, acknowledgement, accolades—you become more and more comfortable in your own shoes. And that’s the best kind of wealth there is.
You probably know people in your organization who have strong brands, and you likely have witnessed them enjoying many of these benefits. It’s time to line up your personal branding actions so you can experience these benefits while delivering exceptional value to your employer.