Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | October 21, 2010

Why Your Personal Brand is Important

In the past I’ve blogged about tips and tricks for maximizing your image, particularly in professional settings. From time-to-time I’ve blogged about your personal brand. For the purposes of this post, let’s talk about your online personal brand.

Fashionistas, (or shall I say “professionalistas?”) before I get started, let’s differentiate the two uses for branding yourself. Or in other words, how will you compartmentalize your life?

1. Online communication with personal friends and family.
2. Online identity and networking with professional networks.

Why is personal branding so important? Let’s start by talking about corporate brands. Coca-Cola and BMW for instance. Why are these household brand names? First, they have solid products. Second, they invest millions of dollars in maintaining and communicating the values, strengths and look/feel of their brands. The easiest way to explain what exemplifies personal branding is to correlate it to corporate branding. You as an individual are no different than a corporate brand. The minute you step out the door of your home and interact with the world, you are marketing and your brand leaves a mark, or impression. What do you want your personal brand to say?

What do these ladies have in common? A commitment to personal branding.

Brand building takes time! In fact, you might have already started building your personal brand. How? If you have a Facebook or LinkedIn profile, a Twitter account or even a personal blog or website, congratulations – you are slowly building your personal brand! But how do you expand it? It is all about establishing a long-term relationship with your audience, whether they are your fans, followers, or friends and family.

While personal branding has been around since the dawn of human interaction, it’s now become a trendy catch phrase and it continues to gain popularity. So ride this trend and take advantage of it! Differentiate yourself, make your mark, and emphasize your expertise, skills, interests, activities, etc. Paint pictures of your knowledge and skills through blogs, YouTube videos, or a Flickr gallery. To reach an audience who will most likely benefit you, start communicating with other experts in your field. Reach out to them, share advice, give advice, and you will find your audience growing!

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