Boss Lady

The importance of personal brand


Working in the PR space, I need to have a personal brand as its relationships that help grow my business.  Whether or not you are in PR or a similar industry, if you want to get ahead, you need to think about your personal brand.

Your personal brand encompasses not only who you believe yourself to be, but how you want others think of you. Your reputation in the workplace, in your industry or within your social circles can influence public perception of you in ways that can be powerful.

The rise of the digital world has allowed individuals to promote their personal brand in impactful ways. Think Richard Branson, Michelle Obama, Gina Rinehart or Julie Bishop. We have an opinion of some of the world’s most powerful individuals without ever having met them – this is the power of a strong personal brand. Carefully curating your personal brand can go a long way in positioning yourself in your professional or personal life.

What impacts my brand?

There are many things that impact the quality of your personal brand and can impact how you are perceived. Here are just some of the things you need to consider:

  • Think about your job and the company you work for. Are they in line with your aspirations and your values?
  • The way we dress is one of the first ways we influence a person’s perception of ourselves. Do you dress in a way that is appropriate for your work and play? It is important that you dress in a way that is appropriate for your industry.
  • Your physical mannerisms. Do you cross your arms often? That can be perceived as a sign of aggression. A firm handshake can be seen as a sign of confidence.
  • The people you know. Do you have strong personal and professional networks in the circles you want to penetrate or be known in?
  • How vocal are you about your views on politics or current affairs? These can be polarising issues that impact your brand.
  • The way you communicate digitally can also impact your brand. Even things as simple as how you sign off an email can say volumes about how personable or professional you are perceived.
  • The content you share on your social media pages speak volumes about what you value in life. There’s a reason why brands pay to partner with social media personalities to promote their products!

Monitoring your online presence

Have you ever Googled yourself? Because it’s likely that your potential employer, client or colleague has! Cleaning up your online presence is an important step in curating a strong personal brand that is aligned with your goals and values. Check the privacy settings on your favourite social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and ensure it is at a level that you’re comfortable with. Remember that anyone can screen-shot or share content you’re creating, even if it’s just amongst friends, so think before you post.

 An elevator pitch

Your personal brand statement, or elevator pitch, is something that’s useful to have and know by heart. It is a short 30-second ‘pitch’ about yourself that highlights your key skills, perspectives and strengths. It should showcase your interests and highlight your personality. Think about it as a quick summary about yourself and who you are.

Things to consider when developing your elevator pitch can be what you do for work, your professional goals in life, your hobbies and how you spend your time. Your first interaction with someone is the most important, so take this as an opportunity to sell yourself.

Building your personal brand

Building a personal brand is similar to building a brand for a place or product you’re hoping to promote. It’s important to have a plan, to ensure your activities are aligned with your goals.

Firstly, it’s important to work out who your target audience is. Perhaps this is the colleagues in your workplace, or the people following you on LinkedIn or Instagram. List out the people you are hoping to reach or influence, as the way you develop your brand for different audiences can differ.

Next, think about how best to communicate your brand to them. This can be via a professional platform like LinkedIn or a professional website with your portfolio. It can even be as simple as changing your email signature to better reflect your style. Other ways to establish your personal brand could be to guest blog on a website that your peers frequent, or guest star on a podcast.

Finally, it’s important to keep track of your personal brand success, or brand equity, to measure the impact that you are making amongst your target audience. Keep track of how many people are engaging with the content you share, and how people interact with you in a professional or social setting, to get a good gauge on how your personal brand is being accepted by others.

A personal brand can be hard to measure and quantify, but that does not make it any less important. Think about the first three words that come to mind when you think about a friend or colleague – are they positive or negative? Are they representing their personal brand well? A considered and well thought out personal branding strategy will go a long way to ensuring that you make a positive and strong impression amongst people that matter to you.

I know it sounds like a lot of hard work, but in reality, once you get started it’s just a small weekly investment to keep your personal brand in the forefront of people’s minds.

Give it a try and you too will see the benefits.

About Nicole Moody'

Nicole Moody is widely recognised as one of the most senior and experienced communication professionals in Perth, Western Australia. She is the Managing Director of Perth-based Hunter Communications. Her extensive career has involved working in Australia and London in the highest levels of public relations, government and journalism. With her passion for communication and a commitment to achieving outstanding results for clients, Nicole has built her client base at Hunter to include some of Western Australia’s biggest brands and companies. Along with managing strategic communications issues, Nicole has advised on numerous ‘front page’ media issues, crisis management and recovery, and brand reputation and management. A highly experienced and results-driven communications manager, Nicole brings the same energy and passion that has made her a multi award-winner and leader in her field to every job and every client.

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