When I say banana, orange, watermelon, lemon, or strawberry, does anything come to mind other than fruit? What if I didn't first put fruit into your mind and instead simply said the word "Apple?" Very likely, there's a good chance you would have instantly thought about computers, tablets and phones brought to you by the consumer electronics company.
If I asked you to think of someone related to Apple what would have popped into your mind? Most likely, Steve Jobs would have even though he died more than one year ago. If I asked you to think about a person associated with Microsoft, most likely you would have thought of Bill Gates first even though he's not been active in day to day operations for more than four years!
Now, think of your local small business where you frequently visit. Who pops into your head when you hear their business name? Even if you don't remember a specific name, there's a good chance a face of an employee you interact with on a regular basis or the owner you see in the store quickly comes to mind.
Lastly, I want you to think how you'd feel about the above people if those people were never associated with those brands and you ran into them on the street. Think of the opposite. How would you feel about those companies if those people were never associated with them?
The above are examples of the power of personal branding and how, when combined with the power of a company's brand, create a dynamic duo that support one another. Often times, when there's a powerfully branded individual associated with a company brand, the way we feel about that person translates to the way we feel about the company and vice versa.
When companies have individuals with strong personal brands, they are able to leverage one another for enhanced benefit. It's very much why professional athletes and celebrities are highly sought after as spokespeople. There's an incentive for both to be associated with each others' brands. Therefore, it only makes sense to build your personal brand, which at the same time, can make you more valuable to the organization you represent. In addition, should you leave your current organization, having a strong personal brand is something you can easily take with you to your next organization.
Whether you're an executive, a customer service representative or a sales professional, having a strong personal brand can help you help your organization deliver better results versus your competition. Everybody likes to think they are working with a celebrity. Nowadays, being a celebrity means having a strong personal brand. From social media superstars to being an expert in your niche, the chance to be a celebrity to someone else is much different than it was only ten years ago.
While becoming a celebrity still involves hard work as well as an investment of time and money, it's never been easier to be your own celebrity. So where do you start?
The Four Steps to Becoming an Online Celebrity
Take control of your online identity. Start by registering your name online. If you can't be a dotcom address, think of getting a .me, .net or try using your middle name or nickname. Signup for the most popular social networking sites that you feel most comfortable with such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to secure your identity with them. I personally only use Twitter on a regular basis since it works best for my needs. Your results may vary.
Identify your area(s) of expertise. Determine what you’re good at. There are probably one million other people in the world that would like to know what you know about your area(s) of expertise.
Identify your passion(s). Once you know what you’re passionate about, is there overlap between your area(s) of expertise? This is the goldilocks zone and should be the focus of your online identity. Your other areas of expertise may not be your passion, but can be supplemental to your primary passion area. Having passion about something is going to give you the motivation to keep current with your online identity.
Develop a professional online presence. Take your passion and develop an online identity around it with specific areas of expertise sprinkled throughout. This will help you build credibility, establish yourself as an expert, and allow your passions to shine through so people get to know the true you. The key words here though are "professional online presence." Too many times people throw up a shoddy website that they built themselves. This can have the opposite effect of establishing yourself as an expert and properly presenting your celebrity to the world. Even if you're an expert in online marketing or web design, sometimes it's best to have a third party help you with this as there may be areas you could overlook. Abraham Lincoln put it best: “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
Personal Branding on a Budget
True celebrities have teams of people working on their brands, make it look like you do as well. You can develop a professional online presence and have a team responsible for helping you maintain it without having to pay an arm and a leg.
BannerView.com has created a new offering for those wishing to establish their personal online identity. You now have the opportunity to create a professional online identity for your personal brand and join other successful celebrities. Bring out your inner celebrity and start profiting from it today!
About the author Mark Cenicola is the president and CEO of BannerView.com, developers of BannerOS, the software that helps companies turn their websites into powerful business tools. Mark is also the author of the book "The Banner Brand – Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand – Build it on a Budget." Read Mark's full biography. You can find him plussing on Google+, as well as tweeting on Twitter and starring in videos for the company's YouTube channel.