We all see the current landscape and the score. Personal Brands are currently dominating many sectors of the business world. Tony Robbins, Gary Vee, and Neil Patel are three prime examples of business leaders who have crafted strong personal brands that run in tandem with the businesses they’ve created. In doing so, they have created incredible levels of trust, transparency, and relevancy; three of the most essential, yet elusive elements for business success today. I believe the time has come for corporations to realize that ‘corporate branding’ is not enough and that key personnel has to be encouraged to develop and maintain a professional personal brand as thought-leaders, experts, or niche influencers, not just on the C-level, but on all levels.
So, what are the benefits of a company-wide personal branding project? Let’s first review what a simple 5-step framework could look like.
Determine and prioritize values and passions. This will help determine where one would want to be in two, five, or even twenty-five years, including the ideal career path.
Define key traits and key points of differentiation
Develop a professional image. From professional headshots to a content credibility plan
Define the target audience (internal and external)
Strategy development for building an online presence by creating and distributing content
The first step alone could very well improve the entire hiring process, while the rest of the steps develop greater self-awareness, more confidence, and digital competencies throughout the entire organization. From a leadership perspective, this type of program only increases the responsibility and accountability levels for all the Executives. Essential communication skills and competencies will now be necessary to have and grow. This will force leaders to become more organized, to think through problems in a more detailed manner, and clarify their ideas to themselves and others in more effective ways. Also, social networks can easily provide you with the answer to which employees within your organization stand out with their personal brand-building efforts. While some will do it in more intentional and structured ways, others will be just natural-born stars. So here we have a program where values are influencing the hiring process, companies are actually involved in their employee’s personal growth, Executives are communicating clearly and all of this with a transparent view of how organized, engaged, and effective each staff member is. Sounds like some pretty good benefits to me.
The fact is that creating and developing an online personal brand is becoming a priority for almost all professionals today and it’s only going to get more important as business continues to move more online. With this being said, I strongly suggest that companies begin with dealing with the inherent tension that personal branding in the workplace may cause by leaning into it and to find common ground. Companies want their people to grow, to be motivated, and generally happy. Guess what, people mostly want the same. I do understand it’s not a one size fits all framework for all companies and in all positions but that fact that it’s happening regardless and needs to be addressed. There seems to be a major opportunity for those companies who can correctly readdress and reconcile the changing needs of both the organization and their employees in today’s digital environment. By applying the basic tenets of personal branding to employee development I believe that companies have a chance to energize and modernize their Human Resources strategies and at the same time unleash new levels of productivity, commitment, and influence from their staff.
Thank you for reading.