Why You Should Pay Attention to Your Personal Brand
Let’s go ahead and get into today’s topic. I’m going to start out with why you need to be intentional with your personal brand. If you think that you don’t have a personal brand, you’re wrong. Your personal brand is what people experience when they look you up.
So if you’re not intentional with your personal brand, it may not look the way you want it to. People who have more extroverted personalities tend to bring their personal brands in line, but there can be some critical misalignments in their personal brands too.
That’s because when you’re not intentional, you can add things that just don’t go together. You have to plot out that strategy. It’s not to say you can’t add in things that appear to clash, but you have to plan that out and make sure that you’re doing it in an intentional way.
Personal Branding Is Like Interior Design
A metaphor popped into my mind about personal branding and interior design. First, let’s take a look at the living room below. This living room is edgy. It’s very artistic, and has clean, stark lines, right. It’s all very intentional.
Then you look at the modern home living room below. Again, very much like the edgy living room, with lots of white space, very clean lines. We’ve got some plant life and eclectic decorating. It’s still all very intentional.
Now, the room below is very antique. First of all, look at that ceiling. That is so very intentional. And then you’ve got the art on the walls, the fireplace, the hardwood. It all matches. It’s very elegant and intentional.
Just to go to the opposite end of the spectrum, below is a log cabin. It’s got the Christmas tree in the corner, some antlers, and this nice fireplace. You see the wood? It all goes together.
All of these rooms are all very intentional. They’re all beautiful spaces in their own ways. On the other hand, below is what an unintentional living room/bedroom looks like.
We’ve got this light blue couch on the left, but then we’ve got an inflatable couch on the right. There’s a nice little desk with a plant, some doorway beads, this princess-themed bed, and there’s this chandelier. The whole thing is just a lot of clashing styles.
The room was probably designed by somebody who loves it very much, but I wouldn’t say that it was designed with the intention of developing a particular aesthetic. This is why I wanted you to think about it though.
If you’re not intentionally cultivating your personal brand, there may be emphasis on certain things you didn’t want emphasis on. When you intentionally cultivate your personal brand, you take control over how others experience you.
When Was the Last Time You Googled Yourself?
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking about controlling your digital impression and I was referring to the search results. When was the last time you Googled yourself? Use an incognito window – because it doesn’t influence your search results – and try it out.
Did you like what you found? Did it present you the way that you want it to be presented? I do it periodically because I like to see what comes up, but you can take control of what shows up in those results by intentionally cultivating your personal brand. Because when you make an effort to get out there, all of those things start to add up at the top of the results.
The Purposes of Cultivating Your Personal Brand
Growing your personal brand serves a few different purposes. It can help you build authority and credibility, it can help people learn more about you, and there’s also an SEO component. Not everything has to link back to your website for it to be of value, but you do want to rank for your name.
Growing your personal brand and taking those steps intentionally puts you in front of other audiences. Are you getting in front of audiences that will move your business along? That’s not to say that I never donate my time or my influence. I speak about my military sexual trauma experiences, which doesn’t technically move my business forward, but it’s something that’s incredibly important to me.
But the most important thing is that I intentionally make that decision, unlike the decorating of the last room we looked at. Again, I’m sure that somebody loves everything here, but if you need to sell your house – this is not the best look. I’ve got some realtors in my audience and I’m sure they’d agree that this would not be the best look in terms of selling a home.
Will People Specifically Search for Your Name in Your Industry?
When people are searching around for something specific, Google always takes into account the previous searches and what it believes your interests are.
Let’s say I’m Ruthie Bowles, a financial advisor, and your 5 previous searches had something to do with budgeting. A friend gives you my name and you look me up. Google is probably going to give you me because of your previous searches, indicating that you were probably looking for someone in that space.
So it’s not always so much that it’ll be your industry specifically, but if the person who’s searching has established an interest in that topic related to that industry, then you may come up. I think I come up for my name no matter what, not including the industry. Like if somebody looks up Ruthie Bowles, they’re probably going to find me.
The big thing you want to take into account is if the person searching for you on Google is somebody who has heard your name before, they’re going to want to do their research. That helps you! My friend’s recommendation bolsters my credibility in your eyes.
The search results can take the credibility from the referral and boost it even further. If my friend’s referral got you to a 5/10 in terms of my confidence in you and what I found online takes you up to 8/10, then I’m ready to call you!
That was it for this Marketing Monday! I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you that we are going to be making some changes to The Defiant Business Podcast. We’re going to be bringing in more cool guests, but we’re also going to be shifting to focusing equally on business people and social entrepreneurs. That way, I can shine some light on different causes and professionals who are working in those spaces.