Personal Branding

… by Jennifer Morozowich

I know I’m aging myself when I say I’ve been in the business for 16 years. Over this time, I’ve noticed a slow migration from the importance of an agency’s brand and reputation to an individual’s personal brand and reputation. I attribute this to social networking.
Before the days of Facebook and LinkedIn, when job hunting, we were most attracted to the agency with the best reputation, who did the best work and who had the best brand in the industry. Now, we put just as much emphasis on the people who work for an agency and what their personal brand represents. This works both ways. Employers also seek employees whose personal brand would be a good fit for their agency.
I can’t write a blog about personal branding without giving a shout out to Tony Chapman. Know him? Sure you do. Love him or hate him, in my opinion he is the industry leader in personal branding.
Glenn Swan recently conducted a poll on LinkedIn asking “Do you feel a strong personal brand is important for job seekers?” 86% of those polled said yes. 13% said it depends on the position.
So, how do you create your personal brand? Treat it the same way you would a client’s brand. You can start by asking yourself these questions:
What do I want to be known for? What am I good at? Am I uniquely valuable? What can I bring to an employer that other’s can’t? What are other people doing and how can I do it better? Who do I want to target? How am I going to reach them? What is my “elevator pitch?”
It’s also crucial to be transparent. The industry is a small one and by now, you’ve probably developed a reputation along the way. Be honest and sincere in your abilities and experience.
By the way, this personal brand is for hire.

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