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How to Create a Personal Brand and Why It's a Great Idea

Do you know people in your industry who you can rely on? People who, when you are in a time of need, you know you can depend on? Whilst individuals within your industry are generally part of a ‘company’, it is often the individuals within those companies that you build a deep sense of trust and respect for. 

Personal branding for the individuals within Belvista Studios comes naturally. Our company is small and was built on celebrating the individual strengths that we each bring. We are therefore consistently presented with situations that allow us to be our full selves, gain the trust of our clients and industry peers and showcase what our strengths and knowledge are as individuals through a variety of platforms and situations. Our personal brand reflects who we are as humans and demonstrates our passion and drive for the work that we do.

When I first started my career, I thought myself less as an individual professional but more as a small but important part of a much greater picture, which was true to some extent. Over time I started to notice the importance of relationships and how I tended to call upon people that I knew I could trust, that I knew were passionate and that I knew would do an awesome job. When I was designing projects and required external support it was often the people within the companies that jumped into my mind rather than the company itself. There could be an awesome well-known company out there but if you have one bad experience with an individual within a company, in my eyes, the company’s value decreases.

These are the top reasons why we believe developing a personal brand is important and how it can benefit you as an individual as well as your company.

1. Permission to Be You

Building a personal brand provides you with the permission to be exactly who you are, in your personal and professional life.

Rather than working for a company that has completely different values to you and gives you shivers at the thought of walking into the office each morning, a personal brand helps you find a company that aligns with you! If you create your personal brand you will know what jobs align with you and companies are likely to seek you out if you align with them. It’s a win-win right?

2. You Will Add More Value as an Individual

If you develop a personal brand, you are likely to be attracted to roles that align with your passion, strengths and goals. You will have a clear picture of what you can contribute to your industry and will therefore be more likely to be placed into roles that align with you.

If you are placed in a role that aligns with you as a person, imagine how much more value you could add!

I have heard time and time again, people talk about how their role doesn’t inspire them and that they are really good at ‘something’ but never get an opportunity to do it in their role - this to me, is an example of wasted passion and talent.

Take control, develop your personal brand, attract jobs that align with you and add more value than ever before.

3. Your Current Role is Not Forever

Whilst it may not be on your radar, your role and your company are not forever and therefore it is important that you consider yourself as an individual professional.

Imagine that you become redundant or your company withdraws from the market. In this situation, when looking for a new position, it is extremely useful to be known in your industry (in a positive way of course).

Social media is huge in our day and age and if you have a known personal brand, a post on Linkedin or an email to a few people in your industry asking for opportunities could be your holy grail.

4. Don’t Worry, it Benefits Your Company Too

Developing a personal brand is not only good for yourself but great for your company. If clients love you as an individual and have an awareness of the value that you can add, they are likely to engage you for work and this in turn is a great thing for your company.

In the multiple work meetings that I have been in over the years, I far more often heard, “Oh, Gerald would be great at that” over, “Let’s hire blah blah blah company”. Humans connect with humans and it’s important that companies are represented well by their employees and not just known for their ‘company brand’.

So now that you know how awesome it is to have a personal brand you may be asking, how do I create it? 

There are many ways that you can develop a personal brand. Here is what we recommend:

1. Know Your Why

As Simon Sinek would say, take time out to discover ‘Your Why’ (Sinek, 2013).

Why do you get out of bed every morning? What work inspires you? What are your interests?

Discovering what your purpose is and how you would like to contribute to the world will support you in developing your personal brand and in turn enable you to work in roles that inspire you.

2. Add Value to Others

There are many people who I would say have an awesome personal brand. When I think about what they all have in common, it’s that they have impacted me in some way. Whether it was a trainer at my previous role who taught me something new and always had a funny joke up their sleeve or an inspirational figure in my industry who consistently shared their business learnings with me, they all added value!

Next time you are with a client, have an intent to add value to their life in some way or form through your interaction with them. They will appreciate you for it and you may even pop into their head in a positive light when they require support in the future.

3. Share your Journey with Others

At Belvista Studios we have built a personal brand through being active as individuals on social media. We made a commitment to share our professional journey with our community and this in turn has created an individual brand for each of us.

We record videos talking about our learnings and knowledge, we share blogs that align with our interests (hence the creation of this blog) and we involve ourselves in discussions and platforms that inspire us online. Even though you might be thinking a personal brand has nothing to do with an eLearning company, a personal brand to us at Belvista Studios is important. The opportunity that I have to express my passion for creating a personal brand with our community is an example of how I as an individual am liberated to work on what I am passionate about and add value through tapping into my strengths.

A great example of the positive impact of putting yourself out there on social media is a video I posted a few months ago. I am passionate about human centred design and had spent a significant amount of time researching it, immersing myself in the process and designing projects using the process. I decided to post a YouTube video sharing with our community what knowledge I had acquired and how we were using it to make our projects awesome. We received a message from someone in our industry who was also interested in Human-Centred Design and wanted us to meet with them and potentially run a session for their team. Through that video, I had added value to that person and it resulted in positive outcome for Belvista Studios as well as that person’s company, all from a video that I posted as an individual.

That’s all for this blog on developing your personal brand.

If you have not yet developed a personal brand, now is a great time to start. You will attract roles that align with your purpose and you will therefore enable yourself to enjoy what you do and improve your value-add to the world.

If you have developed a personal brand, we would love to hear any tips that you have. How have you discovered your ‘why’ and marketed yourself to the world? Has it resulted in inspiring work and projects for you?

Sinek. S. (2011). Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. London. Portfolio/Penguin.

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