Rihanna. Kanye West. Oprah. Apple. Nike. Elon Musk. Do you know what these celebrities and popular companies have in common?
Well… they’ve mastered the golden rules of personal branding – and of course, they’re rich! But how did they get there?
Before social media, only celebrities, athletes, and big-box companies cared about “branding” and had to dish out “real schmoney” on PR and marketing to maintain squeaky clean images.
Whether you’re a Black professional in tech, an influencer, an entrepreneur or a doctor, you’re considered a brand. Don’t believe us? Do a quick Google search of your name, and it’ll probably pull up your face, work history, social media platforms, tweets – EVERYTHING! You’ll see pretty much see the personal brand that bots and algorithms created for you.
But, all’s not lost. Today is a new day, and since personal branding is a new wave driving the job market, we’re putting you in the driver’s seat to take control of your brand.
So, what is personal branding, and why should you care?
First thing’s first.
Your brand isn’t just the fancy theme and logo you’ve curated to decorate your social media profiles. It’s building a name for yourself that people can recognize and associate with specific values, skills, services and talent. A solid personal brand, especially in the tech industry, will get people to notice you.
5 Career Benefits of Personal Branding
1. Personal Branding Increases Your Visibility
If you want to be seen and be connected with the movers and shakers in tech, we’re teaching you the golden rules of personal branding. You’ll learn that the more you build your brand, the more your name will ring a bell; the more your name will come up in conversations, and the more people will start sharing who you are and what you do with their tribes. Nothing beats sharing an opinion, comment or expertise on a subject, then watching it go viral or seeing tonnes of people re-sharing, retweeting and saving your work – nothing! As you start to build this brand for yourself, this will naturally happen, and you’ll gain more followers, connections and attention from prospective employers or clients. Before you know it, new opportunities will start crawling out of the woodwork. Check out this article for some jazzy tips on how to start.
2. Personal Branding Sets You Apart
An employment survey shows that 90% of employers factor a candidate’s social media accounts into their hiring decisions, and 79% have rejected a candidate based on their social media content. With social media platforms like Obsidi and LinkedIn, there are so many candidates for hiring managers to choose from. Standing out among the crowd can be challenging, but you can do it! By setting yourself apart with a personal brand, we don’t mean you should be “fake” or that you should do the most to get attention. Just be intentional about showing your personality and communicating your values, skills and passions in a positive light online. Find ONE or TWO things you want to be known for and go hard at them. This will help potential employers and clients to notice you and give you the competitive edge that will convince people you are the certified one for the job!
3. Personal Branding Increases Your Value
Do you know that many of us assign value to people and things just by their first appearance? When recruiters are hiring, they’re NOT looking at your college transcript to decide. They’re looking at your profile pic, flipping through your socials, blogs and website to assess your value. By consistently showing your skills and expertise through content creation, presentations, videos, live chats and engagement, your brand will start to grow, and your expertise will show. Soon after, you can position yourself as a thought leader in your niche. Your target audience, a.k.a prospective employers, recruiters and clients, will acknowledge your expertise, and before you know it, you’re a big deal securing big bags!
4. Personal Branding Attracts Opportunities
Remember the celebrities we mentioned at the beginning of the blog? We’re positive they don’t have to seek out opportunities; opportunities find them. If you’re on the prowl to find your dream job at a tech giant like Google, Apple or Meta, it’s a good idea to look at how some of these Black influencers did their thing and finessed their way to work for the big wigs. Social media influencers have taught us that you can create a whole new career without the hassle of late-night studies and assignments with a mobile phone or camera, a ring light, and some fantastic photos. They have learned the art of nurturing their talent and leveraging brand development. We’re talking about being able to secure corporate deals, business, jobs, and secure the bag! Your brand is your superpower, and you should learn how to use it to set yourself up for success.
5. Personal Branding Builds Connection and Success
By now, we know you’re seeing the value of building your brand – and there’s more. Whether you’re looking for a job, growing your circle or building your career, you’ll want to expand your network and create meaningful connections. Ever heard the saying, “your network determines your net worth?” In The Top 3 Reasons Why Personal Branding is Crucial in 2021, the writer says your brand or your reputation opens doors for you. When you establish your brand and start to grow your network, your brand can give you direct access to the hidden job market where 70-80% of jobs are not advertised publicly. So, being part of a supportive network, building relationships with people from diverse backgrounds in various positions, can set you up for the type of success a stellar resume could never.
It can be tough to set yourself apart from all the noise and distractions online. But this is a journey that you don’t have to travel alone.