The Importance of Personal Branding - Anouk Pappers

Three years ago I read the Forbes article “6 PR Trends to Check Out in 2018,” written by John Hall, CEO of Influence & Co., keynote speaker, and author of “Top of Mind.” The article stated personal branding to be one of the top PR trends for 2018. He listed the top two as –

#1: “Personal branding and thought leadership will go beyond executives”;

#2: “Owning your digital landscape will never be more important to attract followers”

I was intrigued by this article back then, and value it even more today. Today, in the year 2020, PR has never mattered more. Due to the pandemic, we are all at home, distanced from our regular lives. All types of businesses have transferred over to online operations.

As a result of this online shift, our personal branding, specifically our personal branding on the internet, is more important than ever. We no longer meet potential clients or bosses, so the first impression one receives of us is via a Google search.

As Jeff Bezos once said:
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room”

As for this year, I believe it is what people say of you, but also what people see of you on the internet. In order to market yourself, one has to first self-reflect. It’s all about bringing forward your strong points. Personal Branding is much more than just a fancy buzz word. You can’t just decide to be a personal brand, it takes time to create. You have to study yourself and meditate on your personality. Set your goals and find out where your passion lies.

Like we always tell people, Hall explains it here in a similar way:
“Basic questions to ask yourself are: What are my goals, privately and businesswise? What are my strong points and what fires me up? What is my personal theme? What would I like to communicate about? And, what am I not?”

And: “Only those who know themselves can market themselves authentically.”

Targeted personal branding implies:

· Positioning as an expert on a topic

· More visibility on the Internet

· Networking with other industry experts

· Move away from the “gray mass”

· Sharpening your professional profile

I couldn’t agree more with the statement, “Not communicating is not an option!” If you don’t find any online presence of me, that definitely says something about my person, and profession. In this case, nothing good! That’s why my recommendation to anyone who considers personal branding to achieve a next business goal is to link your name to your field of expertise or passion.

Which topic do you want to stand for? Which topic are you burning for?

Be your own publisher and sharpen the content that you talk about.

Remember: Personal branding is never a finished job.

The path to personal branding is a continuous one. This means hard work — work on yourself, work that you put into your online activities, networking and even creating content. So it will not be surprising that one is not perceived as a brand overnight. You will need ambition and a long breath!

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