Why Do You Need Personal Branding–Entrepreneurs, Professionals, Freelancers

Why do we need personal branding at all? Should our qualifications, social media posts and people in our network knowing about our specialisation not be enough? Is it not meant for people who are heading companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars or those who win Masterchef challenge,  filmstars, cricketers, or maybe politicians?

So here is the second in the series. Today let us talk about a basic question — Why do we need personal branding at all! Let me share my experience based on the hundreds of conversations I had with my clients over the years.

So most people feel apologetic about promoting or talking about themselves. It sounds strange, but the truth remains that while we do have an inner desire to build a personal brand, there is something inside, that stops us to do that. 

Now, We are all differently wired because of our circumstances in life — economically, education wise, the exposure we have had, the city we are living in, the upbringing we had etc. And that influences our ability to take the decision of building our personal brand. But with social media, the times have changed and we do see people leveraging YouTube, Linkedin and Instagram to show their skills and build a community around them.

For better understanding, I will segregate them into two categories:

First are those that are running an established business or heading a well known company— They have thousands of employees, get covered by media and have crossed the threshold of worrying about survival in the market. The problem with such people is that they find it difficult to think beyond their business when it comes to personal branding. Though these are the very people we follow diligently on LinkedIn and Twitter and admire them…. mostly their social media accounts are run by agencies or the corporate communication teams and hence the messaging is mostly transactional in nature. Sometimes, also due to lack of time, they are unable to focus on personal branding.

The second category of people are those that are not known by the masses…. they might be in jobs, or could be startup founders, or upcoming chefs, freelancers, a trainer and consultant, a writer, a painter, or an expert in SEO and digital marketing. These are the people who are still not known beyond their close community. 

And there are millions of such people who, while having expertise and specialisation in something never take that first step towards personal branding. The reasons maybe different for everyone but the two most common issues that I have found are-

number one — the lack of confidence in one self. “will people laugh on me, what if someone leaves a stinking comment on my video or blog, am I good enough to do this etc etc”. 

And number two – is the biggest issue that I have seen in my two decades of experience —the belief that personal branding is only for the privileged few. Out of these millions a small fraction takes step towards personal branding… but leaves it midway after some efforts.

You will find them doing few YouTube videos, writing four or five blogs, spending some money on social media marketing and after a while they drop everything as they start finding it overwhelming. And to say that creating a personal brand is not overwhelming or it is a piece of cake is incorrect. It does take lot of effort. BUT it is not impossible. And the rewards will completely change your life. 

You just need two things – consistency and patience.So, out of the millions who aspire to build personal brand, a small fraction takes step and a much smaller percentage out of them actually are able to create a personal brand.

I will cover the nuances of how to create a personal brand one by one in  the coming episodes. Do subscriber and follow the podcast for the future updates.