If you are a celebrity, an author, a journalist, if you work in tv as a presenter, a producer, a scriptwriter, if you’re a dancer, a pundit, if you are self-employed it any way and you get booked or commissioned because your ‘name’ or your particular experience, then you have a personal brand.
Even if you’re running a company and trade under a name such a company name, you as the MD of that company still have a personal brand to nurture and protect.
And the more you present well, nurture and grow your personal brand, the more you will build your reputation as a leader in your field, the more you’ll be sought out for your expertise and talents, and the more clients, jobs, bookings and opportunities you’ll have.
One of the very first steps in personal branding is your digital presence. Because the very first thing people are going to do when they hear about you, and your services, or after having met you and been impressed by you or wondered more about you is look you up online and do a bit of cyber stalking on you.
But don’t just listen to me. Let’s look at this research from the Hinge Research Institute, who specialise in understanding how so called ‘Visible Experts’ are created, i.e. those with the most powerful, potent and well known personal brands. They have produced three graphs which sum it all up perfectly.
Graph 1 – How Will Your Personal Brand Be Found
You see the highest proportion of purchasers (whether that is actual people who buy products from you or people who might book you) turn to the internet to look for someone like you, or to look you up if they’ve heard about you. So they will hit your website.
What does that website look like? How well is it portraying your personal brand. How modern, good-looking and informative is it?
Graph 2 – Where people go to look for experts/professionals
Again, this graph demonstrates how the majority of people rely on the internet and primarily search engines, which will lead them to your website or, if you don’t have a website, at best make them wonder why not and at worst, lead them to your competitors.
Graph 3 – How buyers ‘check out’ potential experts and service providers
At the top with 80.8 per cent….Buyers. Look. At. Their. Websites. Need I say anymore!
Even if you’ve met them and dazzled them in the flesh, they’re going to land on your website at some point and it needs to have the wow-factor too.