It was 1 AM and I had been staring at my computer screen for the last four hours. I read the words over and over again. I changed a word here and there, and added a smattering of commas and periods. The truth was, I was stalling. I was about to publish my very first blog, taking another step towards building my personal brand as a professional golfer. Finally, I took a deep breath, told myself it was good enough and clicked publish.
Fast-forward 12 years to today. Although I’m no longer a professional golfer, I haven’t stopped using social media to grow my personal brand. It’s more important than ever before. Take it from expert and author Gary Vaynerchuk
“It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have. Your reputation online, and in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level.” – Gary Vaynerchuk - Author
So if this is so important, why do so many leaders not encourage and promote individuals within their teams to build their personal brand? I see a lot of leaders building a personal brand for themselves but not their people. Here are 5 reasons leaders should not only care about, but encourage their people’s professional brand growth.
- People are key differentiators. The ability for a company’s products and or services to maintain differentiation over the competition is the shortest window of time in the history of business. Companies have become the “Ultimate Fast Followers”. To combat this, a leader has to understand that his or her people are a competitive weapon.
- Your business is changing. If there is one thing that’s constant, it is change. Companies are constantly adding products, building software, expanding locations, expanding to new markets, making acquisitions etc. Your people have to understand changes and communicate those changes effectively. If they are thought of as experts; clients, prospective clients and/or partners will be more open and receptive to new offerings.
- Clients are social. There are 2.38B active users on Facebook and 500M LinkedIn members as of 2019. The people included in these numbers are the same ones doing research, forwarding interesting articles, and making buying decisions. Professionals are more willing than ever to share their experiences and collaborate on things going on in their personal and professional lives.
- Improve confidence. In order for people to reach their true potential, they have to believe in themselves (The Most Important Thing a Leader Can Give). When people invest time and effort into their personal brand and begin to see results, their confidence correlates to those results. If you can improve confidence, business results will follow. Check out your Social Selling Index on LinkedIn to see how you are doing with your own personal brand.
- Attract the best talent. Talented people, like to work with other talented people. One of the easiest new ways to attract talent is to have your current top talent help in the process. If those individuals have the freedom to create and foster their own personal brand online from within your organization, talent will take note.
Developing employees isn’t typically the first thing leaders get out of bed thinking about, but it has to be higher on their list. Something as simple as encouraging and caring about your teams personal brand can provide unimaginable value.
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