Your personal brand ROI is vital in this internet-driven work culture; the importance of building a solid personal brand cannot, and should not, be understated.
A personal brand is a collection of your skills and values. It reflects how you would like to present yourself to the corporate world. The closer you generate this perception of the opportunities you desire, the easier it is for you to achieve all of your professional goals.
As any freelancer or job seeker attests, looking for work these days is tough. Attention spans of employers have reduced, and competition is tensing up.
In this highly competitive job market, a personal brand acts as your differentiator — it’s the answer to the question: Why should I get a job over the thousands of equally talented professionals vying for the same post?
So how does one build a personal brand? And what exactly can it offer you? In this article, we’ll discuss some of the significant Returns on Investment (ROIs) a solid personal brand can offer, as well as some tips on defining your brand.
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Building a personal brand is hard work. It requires immense self-reflection, time, and consistency to pull off. But as several influencers and go-getters have proven time and time again, it’s worth it in the long run. Here’s what you can expect once you’ve made the step to build a strong personal brand:
A strong personal brand goes a long way in giving you some credibility. Ask any individual who has seen great professional success, and they’ll tell you that no successful business can thrive without credibility. And a large part of creating a personal brand is the ability to present yourself as a business.
Do you want to attract more clients and boost revenue?
Once your reliability and trustworthiness are established through a strong personal brand, you will become an authority in your field, thus enhancing your professional reputation. Which, as we all know, leads to the following:
Career stagnation is a problem every talented professional must contend with. Once we begin to get comfortable in our routines, there’s no room for growth. A strong personal brand has the double benefit of making you more sought after by more employers and opening up new avenues for growth that haven’t always been on your radar.
Networking has always been a crucial part of the job-seeking and personal growth process. In fact, some studies show that as many as 80% of jobs are found through personal connections. At the same time, if you don’t interact with your peers, how will you know what you’re up against or keep track of the latest developments in your field? A personal brand strategist can help expand your professional network, connecting you with like-minded individuals and building meaningful relationships.
Have you ever wondered how some professionals are able to land the perfect gigs — with high salary packages and in reputable organizations? The answer, once again, is personal branding. It’s known that more people are likely to trust an individual’s recommendation online over that of a brand — 88% more, in fact. When you have a personal brand with a strong online presence, organizations begin seeing you as a valuable asset to them, leading to higher salaries and better job offers.
At the end of the day, it isn’t about just landing a specific job or beating out the competition; it’s about personal and professional growth. Building a personal brand forces a lot of introspection related to your achievements, both past and present, and future goals. Considering these individual factors is an invaluable exercise in building upon your professional growth.
There is, unfortunately, no magic formula to calculate the ROI of a personal brand.
While the short- and long-term benefits of a personal brand are well understood by those who’ve gone through the process and come out on the other side, they may not be so evident or concrete to anyone starting out.
For this reason, the importance of a personal brand is often underestimated. But trust us, just because there isn’t an equation that can tell you exactly how much you stand to gain doesn’t mean the benefits aren’t worth it.
A personal brand can, of course, be a great financial investment. Sure, no one is going to just hand you money the moment you create a LinkedIn page listing all your achievements, but strong branding can lead to the following:
- Increased Salary and Bonuses: The path to getting improved salaries and bonuses lies in determining what your employer values the most. Since you’ve done most of the hard work of presenting your skills in a comprehensive manner through your personal brand, it should be easier to align yourself with a company’s objectives and prove your value. This leads to a statistically higher chance of increased salaries and bonuses.
At the same time, more employers than ever are beginning to value employees with a strong online presence. In fact, some bosses have even been training employees to become social media influencers.
- Improved Job Opportunities: As many as 95% of job recruiters believe that the job market is likely to get more competitive and that job seekers who stand out are more likely to be hired. Without a strong personal brand, you’re basically casting yourself on the wrong side of that statistic. But with a strong personal brand, it’s safe to say that you’re improving your chances of getting more job opportunities and thus seeing more financial benefits.
That being said, the real measure of a strong personal brand shouldn’t just be restricted to making more money. Sure, it’s an integral part of our professional careers, but a strong personal brand can offer much more than simply monetary gain. When measuring the ROI of a strong personal brand, don’t forget to consider the following:
- Improved Professional Reputation: As mentioned briefly earlier, reputation is extremely integral for an employee, job seeker, or freelancer looking for improved opportunities. A personal brand does wonders for your reputation and in establishing yourself as an authority in the field.
Assume, for example, you had to choose between two employees vying for a content writing job with your company. Would you be more likely to pick the one with a widely successful blog that appeals to all your main customers or the other that simply promises that they can write well? It’s a no-brainer, really.
- Enhanced Career Satisfaction: Another benefit that can’t be specifically quantified, but can’t be underestimated either, is the enhanced career satisfaction a personal brand can offer. When it comes to achieving goals, there’s no greater advantage than having more employment options and better salaries. Plus, building a personal brand helps you understand your professional goals better and help you achieve career satisfaction — a rare thing these days.
Now that the ROI and advantages of a personal brand have been firmly established, it’s important to understand what makes a personal brand “strong.” How does one go about building a brand of their own? And what do employers actually look for?
Take a look at this simple step-by-step process for some inspiration:
The first step is the most crucial. Before you start, you must first define what you want your personal brand to be — or the perception you want employers to have of you. A helpful thing to do in this case is to ask yourself a few questions, like:
- What motivates you?
- What sets you apart?
- What are you best at?
- What are your weakest qualities that you can improve upon?
- What is it you admire most in people?
Once you’ve answered these basic questions (feel free to add more), you should have more clarity over what skills and values you want your brand to reflect. Pay special attention to any recurring themes, as this will help you define your brand better.
This process step will also help you carve out a niche and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Step 2: Create a Personal Brand ROI Strategy
There’s no point in having a personal brand if you aren’t reaching the right audiences. This is where strategy comes in. The right branding strategy can take your tiny personal brand to new heights and get the attention of the right employers.
Once you’ve decided what you want to be known for, you must figure out the tactics, tools, and skills you need to get there. In this case, one of the most helpful things to do in this case is first understanding the audience you want to appeal to. A carefully planned-out strategy gets rid of all the uncertainty surrounding the process of creating a personal brand. As an added benefit, it should help you better understand the next step: creating a commanding online presence.
In 2023, the importance of developing an online presence shouldn’t be surprising. A personal brand ROI thrives off social media and other online tools like WordPress blogs. To create an online presence, you need to understand your audience, the unwritten rules of the platform, and what you hope to achieve.
Creating a content calendar can be an invaluable practice to maintain and develop your online presence, as it gives the structure of your thoughts and helps increase your online “visibility.”
According to the marketing book The Visible Expert, there are five levels of visibility, starting from level one — a resident professional known and respected within their industry — and leading to level five — a global superstar recognized and respected across sectors.
Your goal with your online presence should be to work your way up the ladder through consistent and well-defined posts.
No great work is done in isolation. When starting out in building your brand, chances are several other influencers and creators will inspire you with a lot more experience than you have. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — collaboration is, at the end of the day, one of the most important stepping stones to success.
When looking to increase the visibility of your brand, don’t hesitate to expand your network — reach out to people whose work you admire, invite fellow creators to collaborate, and learn from those with more experience in your field.
Once you’ve gotten through all the grunt work, it isn’t time to sit back and relax. The worst mistake individuals make when building their personal brand ROI is forgetting the importance of constant reinforcement.
Even if you see some great initial success, remember the internet is a fickle thing — you can be forgotten as soon as the next big thing comes along. Self-promotion and reinforcing your values are essential steps in staying relevant and maintaining your position as an authority in your field. No matter how tedious it may seem, consistent reminders of who you are and what you do will help you stand out from the competition.
The definition of work is constantly changing — there are currently an estimated 70 million freelancers in America, even as more companies look to hire the services of remote workers to complete tasks that don’t need physical attendance. In this changing landscape, a personal brand strategist can offer so many advantages, from increased job opportunities to better salaries and more credibility.
In ROI terms, there wasn’t much to lose in the first place. A personal brand doesn’t require much monetary investment — apart from maybe a few online tools, such as a website — but offers so much in terms of career goals, job satisfaction, and increasing your network.
It may seem daunting to start on such a mammoth task. Still, by now, you should have enough information to realize that personal branding doesn’t have to be restricted to Instagram influencers but can transform the lives of any working professional.