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Today, Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever

Personal Branding is More Important than EverWith social media and the gig economy, it has become essential to embrace personal branding. Here are the reasons why it’s more important than ever.
Whether you know it or not, you have a personal brand. Internet search results are the first impression people will have of you. Is it a good one? Is the information you are sharing across LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media sites consistent? 

Whether you have a date or a job interview, chances are someone is going to Google you to learn more about who you are. The question is, do you want to allow your online reputation to take on a life of its own or control the narrative? With the proliferation of social media and the gig economy, it has become essential for everyone to embrace personal branding.

What is personal branding?

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is famously quoted as saying, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” The term “branding” used to be reserved for businesses, but with the advent of social sites and the gig economy, personal branding has become fundamental.

A personal brand is a unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. It is how you present yourself to the world. Effective personal branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust with prospective clients and employers.

Building a personal brand 

Whether you’re an employee or entrepreneur, cultivating a personal brand has become more important than ever. One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process.

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.

Personal branding is also beneficial from the employer’s perspective

Companies should encourage employees to build strong personal brands because it’s good business. When employees are allowed to represent their company at conferences or events, they are not only developing themselves but also providing the organization more exposure. Employees can help acquire new customers and retain existing ones when they are viewed as trustworthy thought leaders.

Contract Workers Need a Personal Brand

Another reason personal branding is valuable is that the gig economy is not going away anytime soon. The average person switches jobs every 2 to 3 years, and freelance and contract workers now make up 43% of the U.S. workforce.

We’re seeing only one trend here, which is that the gig economy is big and getting bigger. Companies will do just about anything to avoid hiring full-time employees. Add to that the fact that there is no job security anymore, and workers are increasingly aware that they need to work differently if they want to create any sort of stability for themselves.”

As a result, workers need to be able to clearly communicate who they are and what they do to stand out to prospective clients and employers. If you aren’t effectively managing your online reputation, then you run the risk of losing out on business.

Personal branding masters

Developing a great personal brand doesn’t happen overnight. It’s imperative to be able to communicate your purpose and mission to your audience in a genuine way. Here are some examples of famous people who have built incredible personal brands through hard work, consistency, and long-term focus:

Oprah Winfrey:

Oprah is undoubtedly the queen of personal branding. She is continually building equity in her brand which has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, according to Forbes. Oprah has always stuck to her core competency: challenging millions of viewers to live the best lives possible by understanding their potential. By being true to herself, she has inspired millions to be their best selves.

Richard Branson:

Richard Branson is undeniably one of the most visible, successful, and well-known men alive. He has continually stayed true to his core values, including adventure and risk-taking. By being himself, he has often done exactly what other business leaders cautioned against, including crazy publicity stunts like dressing as a flight attendant for a competing airline. His unorthodox style and commitment to his passions have helped him create a powerful personal brand. Branson says, “Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character, and no public trust.”

Marie Forleo:

Marie Forleo is an inspiring teacher, writer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. She has mastered the ability to share impactful content in a humorous and engaging way. With a following in over 195 countries, Marie challenges her fans to change the way they live in order to change the world. Her website reflects that of a personal branding expert, highlighting her authenticity and passion for helping others.

Gary Vaynerchuk:

Also known as Gary Vee, Vaynerchuk got his start by hosting a video blog on YouTube called Wine Library TV. In March 2009, he signed a 10-book deal with HarperStudio, reportedly for over $1 million, and released his first book, Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion, in October 2009. Now, he’s one of the most successful marketers in the world and has attracted a huge loyal following. Vaynerchuk says,” Your personal brand is your reputation. And your reputation in perpetuity is the foundation of your career.”

Whether you’re looking for a better job or more sales for your company, personal branding is a given. You don’t need to be Oprah or Richard Branson to have a great personal brand. It’s a matter of continually crafting and curating your digital presence and keeping it real! Honesty, transparency, and authenticity are what will differentiate you in the long-run.

This article was originally written by executive coach, Caroline Castrillon.

How can law firms use social media to attract more clients and further their public reputations? As a digital publicity specialist working with executives in the social media space, my first response to that is to put more managing partners on social media and optimize their personal brands for the good of the firm’s. In today’s new media world, leaders – including law firm managing partners – have the added responsibility to be the face of their organizations on social media just as they are expected to represent the company offline. However, buy-in for this notion has been slow. It was reported in 2013 that 70 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs still were not using social media. In my opinion, things have not changed a whole lot in a year, and that especially holds true for the legal industry. Act as a Spokesperson Traditionally, marketing and public relations executives (in most industries) have been responsible for advocating and communicating the message about a company and its benefits to the public, while corporate leadership has been charged with “shaping the market” as a thought leader. And, up until now, the outlet for thought leadership has been traditional media, i.e., print, radio and television. But various executives are bucking this stereotype of the silent leader, including Richard Branson of Virgin; Doug Conant of Avon and the former Campbell Soup CEO; Peter Aceto, the former CEO of ING Direct, now with Tangerine; and Bill Gates of Microsoft. Perhaps they are more inclined to be visible online because they are known to the public as the founders of their organizations and products, or, in some cases, they were naturally drawn to social/digital media from the get-go. It’s only natural that a law firm managing partner who is not overly personable by nature will be less open and approachable on social media. He or she may be an exceptional leader, but may not be as vocal about his or her passion for the legal industry, and that’s OK. Not everyone can act in the same bold way on social media as the likes of Sir Richard Branson. However, managing partners are leaders, and therefore they need to do more than manage the direction of the firm. They also need to manage the law firm’s image by acting as its spokesperson, setting the tone for the firm, including the development of a viable digital persona across social media. Get Social Media Support Of course, a managing partner is accountable for the law firm’s brand in terms of whatever they say and do online and off. Their opinions can be taken out of context on social media, as information can be amplified, instantaneously transmitted and easily misinterpreted. This is why it can be a prudent measure to put someone in place to manage your law firm social media, or at least edit and consult managing partners on the use of social media, to assuage any fears. This can be the job of the firm’s PR/marketing agency, the in-house marketing department or someone who is dedicated to supporting firm management. In the digital age, law firm management shouldn’t be asking whether social media is right for them. The question is how they will use social media to enhance not just their own images, but the overall brand of the firm.

Why Law Firm Managing Partners Need to be on Social Media

How can law firms use social media to attract more clients and further their public reputations? As a digital publicity and online reputation management specialist working with executives on social media, my first response to that is to put more managing partners on social media and optimize their personal brands for the good of the firm.

In today’s new media world, leaders – including law firm managing partners – have the added responsibility to be the face of their organizations on social media just as they are expected to represent the company offline. However, buy-in for this notion has been slow.

According to Business Insider, celebrities and influencers aren’t the only ones using social media to bolster their career.

Chief executive officers — in between managing some of the world’s largest corporations — are using Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn more than ever to build an online following. The business advisory company Brunswick analyzed the social media profiles of 790 CEOs of S&P 500 and FTSE 350 companies to find the ones who cultivate the best audiences online.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, for instance, posts to Facebook nearly every day. Nasdaq’s chief Adena Friedman regularly engages with her nearly half a million LinkedIn followers.

Having a good social media presence leads to more trust among employees and shareholders. Around 65% of US employees say it’s important for CEOs to actively communicate about their companies online, particularly during times of crisis, the report found.

All of the above holds true for law firm leadership.

Act as a Spokesperson
Traditionally, marketing and public relations executives (in most industries) have been responsible for advocating and communicating the message about a company and its benefits to the public, while corporate leadership has been charged with “shaping the market” as a thought leader. And, up until now, the outlet for thought leadership has been traditional media, i.e., print, radio, and television.

To that end there are various executives who have been bucking this stereotype of the silent leader for a long time now, including Richard Branson of Virgin; Doug Conant of Avon and the former Campbell Soup CEO; Peter Aceto, the former CEO of ING Direct, now with Tangerine; and Bill Gates former CEO of Microsoft. Perhaps they are more inclined to be visible online because they are known to the public as the founders of their organizations and products, or, in some cases, they were naturally drawn to social/digital media from the get-go.

It’s only natural that a law firm managing partner who is not overly personable by nature will be less open and approachable on social media. He or she may be an exceptional leader, but may not be as vocal about his or her passion for the legal industry, and that’s OK. Not everyone can act in the same bold way on social media as the likes of Sir Richard Branson. However, managing partners are leaders, and therefore they need to do more than manage the direction of the firm. They also need to manage the law firm’s image by acting as its spokesperson, setting the tone for the firm, including the development of a viable digital persona across social media.

Get Social Media Support
Of course, a managing partner is accountable for the law firm’s brand in terms of whatever they say and do online and off. Their opinions can be taken out of context on social media, as information can be amplified, instantaneously transmitted and easily misinterpreted.

This is why it can be a prudent measure to put someone in place to manage your law firm social media, or at least edit and consult managing partners on the use of social media, to assuage any fears. This can be the job of the firm’s PR/marketing agency, the in-house marketing department or someone who is dedicated to supporting firm management.

In the digital age, law firm management shouldn’t be asking whether social media is right for them. The question is how they will use social media to enhance not just their own images, but the overall brand of the firm.