New me - new marketing
The process of becoming the 'face of oneself' is the building of a so-called 'personal brand', or personal branding. Does this sound 'marketing-ish'? Quite right, as this process borrows quite a bit from corporate branding concepts or strategies, and is even sometimes used in this way. A good example of this is Tesla, whose fame is almost inextricably linked to Elon Musk, or Apple, which will always be the legacy of a certain visionary named Steve Jobs.
Does this mean that to build a personal brand you have to 'sell yourself'? After all, that is what marketing aims to do. The answer, however, is a little more complicated. Yes, personal branding is a strategy that can be used in marketing on a larger scale and indeed it uses similar concepts. However, it is only one element. Marketing also benefits from ongoing commentary on new developments or colour theory. Does this mean that talking about the latest news or using colour theory makes us 'market ourselves'? Not necessarily.
Ultimately, marketing in the broadest sense is often about building a persona or brand from scratch, whereas building a personal brand is 'just' honing the talents and qualities we already possess that distinguish us from others in a similar position. Hence, the process of building it may or may not necessarily be seen as 'marketing' per se.
Personal brand and finance
Building a personal brand can have many purposes and uses, and the financial motive is by no means the least of them. A consistent and authentic personal brand can be the one advantage that determines our next promotion, or getting our dream job at a new company. A carefully managed personal brand is not only about having good relationships with people we already know, but it's also a way to 'introduce ourselves' to people we haven't yet exchanged a word with. Like a mini-fame that precedes us, a personal brand makes us seem more accessible and even people we don't yet know feel like they know us. And this can be incredibly helpful both in and out of work.
One way of explaining what this elusive concept of 'personal brand' is in practice is this simplification: "a personal brand is everything that people say about you when you are not in the room". Surely everyone has been on the other side of this situation at some point, hearing "oh, you must meet Mark, he's such a warm person", or "you should observe Christopher on social media, he doesn't mince words". These impressions may have been consciously built, or accidentally created - but in either case they will be elements of the personal brand as 'Nice Mark' or 'Honest Christopher'. By hearing these comments about them, you already have some sort of first impression of them, even though you haven't met them yet.
What if your first encounter with Honest Christopher was a video on YT, reviewing a new model of phone or watch in an honest way? Perhaps he'd 'draw' you into the world of weighing up the specs, you'd trust his opinion, and when he releases a book - say, 'Fifteen things to look out for when choosing electronics and how I know' - you'd be willing to pay a dollar or two for the electronic version.
And this is just one of the ways in which a solid personal brand can bring us money. And that's both in and out of the office. How many other strategies exist for monetisation? As many as there are people in the world! Learn about the most popular ones and choose the best one for you with the help of the experts at Webinar Universe, a training platform full of valuable knowledge.
One face, multiple products?
The story of Honest Christopher, however, is a slight oversimplification. A personal brand rarely consists of just one element - in this case, sincerity. A large element of such a brand, incredibly vital in maintaining its integrity and earning the trust of others, are the values we believe in and live by. They should be the steel core of our brand and we should make decisions through them, especially when it comes to monetisation. Otherwise, we can quickly lose the trust we have built up.
To illustrate, let's invent an eco-influencer: Philip of Hemp. Philip has a small fan base who trust his dedication to the environment. One day Philip is spotted by a sponsor, say a company selling disposable versions of products. If Philip suddenly started promoting plastic reusables instead of reusable alternatives, many fans would be understandably disappointed and Philip would be branded a hypocrite instead of a person who cares about the environment. This is why, in building and sustaining your personal brand, it is important to stay true to your beliefs and set clear boundaries. And if we make a mistake? Well, loss reduction and public relations strategies are also marketing strategies that find their way into personal branding. These and other helpful strategies should be prepared in advance, preferably with the help of experts. Webinar Universe offers just such expert support in its webinar series on marketing basics. Check them out today to prepare for as many eventualities as possible when building your brand!
Is it worthwhile?
Personal branding is a very useful tool, whether in private life, at work or in trying to 'make a name' in the world. However, it is just that - a tool, or rather a strategy, which we can adapt to our objectives and needs. A definite advantage of this process is also that it can evolve with us, develop with us, or completely change direction if we need a bit of a 'reset'. It is therefore worth familiarising ourselves with the elements of this strategy, even if we are not planning to sketch out a comprehensive campaign, so that we know which of them can help us in our daily lives. And one of the best sources of knowledge on the subject is undoubtedly the Webinar Universe platform. Expert reviews, tailored levels and access to multiple languages are just a few of the advantages that Webinar Universe can offer us!
Marketing is a sophisticated industry, full of different strategies and principles. Some of them are sometimes also useful outside the industry, like the concept of personal branding. It is worth familiarising yourself with them so that you can get the most out of life.