One of the most overlooked aspects of social business and social media is the power of the personal brand. Unfortunately, many marketers and business leaders wrongly assume that personal branding is only for those looking to be “famous” or become some type of online or social marketing “guru.” This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Think about this… When was the last time you handed your credit card to a logo? When is the last time a branded logo or corporate branded sign spoke back to you? How about called you? When was the last time that branded Twitter avatar called you back? When was the last time a robot served your food, or checked you out at the grocery store?
The truth is that brands, corporations, organizations, businesses big and small are made up of human beings. Human beings just like me and you. Human beings that breathe, eat, sleep, think, cry, laugh and communicate with one another.
Behind every branded corporate Twitter avatar, Facebook page, LinkedIn group and Instagram profile is a human being. Someone took the photo. Someone posted the photo. It was a human being who wrote the copy being tweeted or posted to Facebook.
Bottom line, human beings speak to, communicate with and buy from other human beings. Of course a brand is not a human. A logo is not a human. However, we can help make brands more human by empowering and bringing to the front the human beings within.
Empower Your Greatest Brand Advocates -> Employees
71% of CEOs believe human capital is key source of economic value according to a recent study from IBM.¹
Empowering employees is key to success for brands of all sizes. Your employees are your greatest asset. They can be your most powerful brand advocates.
At some point your customers must know there is a human being behind that logo. They must not only know it exists but also believe that the human beings within the organization care about them as a customer, partner, evangelist, advocate or even friend.
What does it mean to empower your employees? How do you inspire, enable and empower them to be your brand advocates? How do you prioritize when and how to invest in personal branding? What are the strategies and tactics for personal branding? Does personal branding require a blog, personal engagement on the social networks?
We will be answering these questions and more in our new “Social Brand Zoom” series. Over the next few months we will be offering training in the form of free webinars, workshops, podcasts, live events, worksheets, tools, blog articles and more.
10 Reasons Why Personal Branding Is a Requirement, Not an Option In Today’s Socially Connected World
1. Human beings buy from other human beings. Earning trust is imperative in business and life. One of the best and easiest ways to earn trust is to connect human to human, person to person, eye to eye, voice to voice.
The more you can help your employees feel comfortable representing themselves online, the better they are going to be able to behave and interact as real human beings. It is important they are able to portray their own personal brand and not just a robotic copy image of your corporate speak and message. Empower them to build relationships and help them understand they are going to take time to nurture.
2. Delight your employees, empower them to delight your customers, audiences and social communities. Your employees are your greatest asset. Embrace the opportunities that exist to empower them as loyal brand advocates. Teach them, train them, inspire them to delight your audiences and customers. The more you can engage them and inspire them to be part of your brand, the more they will live their life each day as natural brand advocates both online and offline.
3. Social business starts from the inside out. Becoming a social business will not only transform your organization, it will also reveal it. Social will highlight your culture and employee job satisfaction.
If you do not trust your employees to represent your brand, how do you expect your customers, communities and prospective customers to trust your brand? Your employees are your brand, like it or not. If you can’t trust them why should anyone else? Think about that one.
4. One of the most important aspects of branding is consistency. It takes 5-7 brand impressions before someone will remember your brand. Your employees should be living your brand each and every day. They should not have to over think about what your brand stands for, what your brand promise is and how they can be a contributing and positive part of your brand story on a daily basis.
Social media and personal branding provides organizations amazing opportunities to get a consistent yet dynamic and real brand message in front of hundreds and thousands of people each and every day.
5. You are leaving opportunity on the social table if you are not empowering your employees to shout about your brand from the mountain top. Wouldn’t you rather the message they shout be positive, inspirational and full of life for all who hear it?
6. You are the media. Social media levels the playing field for brands new to market as well as small brands. Every human being and brand now has an opportunity to “be the media.”
Your competitors are building brand armies made up of their employees as the front line, back line and chiefs. You can not humanize a brand by hiding or keeping your employees locked behind corporate PR protected walls and websites. The social world is exactly that, social.
It will become very obvious to all those that are interested in and come in contact with your brand that you are not empowering your employees to participate as a positive member of your brand army.
7. Personal branding must start and be supported from the top down, and the bottom up. Every employee is a potential brand advocate. Even if nobody in your organization is focusing on their own personal brand, there is no better time to start than now. Why don’t you take the lead? Be a role model and show them how it is done.
8. Depending on the size of your organization, your employees are already making tens, hundreds, thousands or even millions of brand impressions a day on the social networks. I could write a book on the brands that have left lasting impressions, good and bad, on my brain via my personal friends and contacts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram streams.
Your employees are talking about your organization, their boss, colleagues and work /life balance or lack there of, regardless if you know it or not. Even if you don’t know about it, there is a very high chance the neighbors, friends, and colleagues of your employees do!
9. Your personal brand is you! Your personal brand includes everything you say, post, write, pin, photograph, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, like, tweet, think, and do. Bottom line, your brand is you and every employee within your organization!
10. Personal brands go with you no matter where you work, live, and play. Investing in personal branding is an investment in yourself. It’s an investment in the human beings within your organization. By investing in your employees as human beings you will have opportunity to increase loyalty, employee satisfaction, and customer satisfaction.
Bottom line you can never go wrong by investing in both internal and external communities and the human beings within them!
What you say?
How important do you believe personal branding is? Have you invested in your own personal brand? Do you invest in your employees? Do you help them create and rock their own personal brands? What tips do you have for others?