80 million names are Googled every day.
Your reputation now extends to the web. If you do not exist online, you are losing opportunities and leaving money on the table. Not only are people Googling you (75% of HR departments are required to research you online); they are making decisions about you based on your presence or lack thereof within social media and other online environments. You need to be found in the right places, with the right content by the right people. Having an online reputation is critical to establishing new relationships and creating business.
Never has it been more important to understand the power of having, maintaining and developing a strong online personal brand. Never has a simple Google search been able to tell us more about a person, who they are, what they do, and why they matter. In the past, our reputations revolved around what people see and hear about us face-to-face but now we have to realize that we have to have a digital presence.
Those that are forward thinking realize that they have to position themselves as a BRAND and create a brand that will get them noticed. You simply have to stand out from the herd.
Why Professional Branding is Important
Celebrities have it, businesses have it, food products have it. I am not talking about the latest celebrity scandal. I am talking about a PROFESSIONAL brand. Think Donald Trump, Oprah, Google. When you think of these brands, certain things come to mind. This is what you are after with your own brand…NAME RECOGNITION.
Personal branding is the relationships an individual or a company forms with its target market both online and offline. How others feel about your personal brand determines whether or not they want to have a business relationship with you.
Professional Branding Revolution
Personal branding has become a necessity. No longer is it solely a marketing concept, restricted to managing the promotion of products. Today, brand development is also an art of self-promotion. People have to proactively distinguish themselves from their competition.
A personal brand creates a point of distinction. It assists you in standing out from the crowd. Remember, no two personal brands are exactly the same because you bring your own authenticity to your brand.
Professional Branding is all about YOU
Your personal brand is all about who you are and how you are perceived within your target market. Everything about you, from the way you present your online business “the look”, your message consistency and the value you bring; it all speaks about your business.
In marketing, personal branding is about working on your personal style, positioning and being unique to create a valued brand. This can help you to build your reputation as an expert in your field and to develop trusting relationships with your target market.
Whether it is a personal brand or that of a product or service, the value of a brand is in the promise that it makes. A brand can help a client recall positive or negative experiences and emotions which influence how people behave towards your brand. For the individual, this means that it is imperative to create a personal brand that will deliver on the expectations of the client.
If you do not take control of your own professional brand, then somebody else will. It is time for you to start thinking about personal branding. Branding YOU has never been more important in today’s online marketplace.
Let’s Look At Some Facts…
Personal branding purpose is to apply key branding principles and apply them to individuals. This provides individuals with a considerable edge and can differentiate them from the competition for obtaining additional sales, getting a job or a promotion.
• More than 80 percent of executive and corporate recruiters research job candidates online, and 43 percent say they have turned down job seekers because of what they found, according to a study released August 2008 by ExecuNet.
• Online reviews are second only to personal advice from a friend as the driver of purchase decisions; user reviews are more influential than third-party reviews. (”Web users and web community,” Rubicon Consulting, Inc. October 2008)
• 86% of consumers read online business reviews before making purchasing decisions; 90% of whom say they trust these reviews. (Kudzu.com survey of 600 users, December 2008)
• Almost two-thirds (62%) of consumers read consumer-written product reviews on the Internet. (Deloitte & Touche, September 2007)
• When asked what sources of information they are “very likely” to consult before making a decision about their entertainment options, 62% named Web sites with user reviews as their top choice, even beating out a knowledgeable friend (59%). (Marketing Sherpa, July 2007)
• Seven in 10 (69%) consumers who read reviews share them with friends, family or colleagues, thus amplifying their impact. (Deloitte & Touche, September 2007)
• 74% agree-including 14% who strongly agree-that they choose companies and brands based on what others say online about their customer service experiences, the survey shows. (Society for New Communications Research, May 2008)
• More than eight in ten (82%) of those who read reviews said that their purchasing decisions have been directly influenced by those reviews. (Deloitte & Touche, September 2007)
Personal branding is a huge and emerging issue for anyone who intends to do business online or offline.
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