Not building your personal brand? Then you’re not in control

We’ve all been reading intense headlines these last few months. Economies and confidence starting to flounder, the doom merchants are speaking up, and with the US election results, who knows where that will lead us?

But people are being laid off too. Good people. Friends. These friends are people I’ve spoken to about building their personal brand years ago, and when we catch up to discuss next steps, they look at me guiltily, feeling stupid. They feel stupid because they didn’t listen and get started, instead giving everything to their employer. That hurts when you’ve been laid off.

Loyalty from companies is a thing of the past, we know that. Recessions are not, unfortunately. I’ve lived during times like this more than once in my career, which is why I won’t give up on building my personal brand. It helps me to be recession-proof (if that’s a thing). So yes, while it’s tedious to be facing another potential recession, you can do something about it.

And that is to take control of your personal brand

Take control of your voice and your perception in the market. Become a powerhouse influencer in your area of expertise. Become someone your peers rely on as the go-to-person in your field. Build a brand so strong, your company won’t make you redundant, and if they do, other companies will come scrambling to get you. Because you are valuable. Because you are powerful.

That is what personal branding offers. I know because I experience the benefits every day. Here are some I’ve gained personally:

  • A constant flow of job offers and outreach from recruiters and companies
  • Perceived as an influencer in my field, which brings many benefits to me personally and to any business I work for
  • A constant stream of speaking invitations to major industry events from strong brands in my space, including Microsoft, LinkedIn, Hootsuite, Accenture, Outbrain, IBM and others
  • Interest from the media to submit articles and for interviews
  • Invitations to guest-post on global content marketing blogs
  • Credibility and respect with senior decision makers for large global organisations, across B2B and B2C
  • Seen as the go-to person in my field of expertise and known as an expert in my field
  • Respected for my persistence in continuing with my personal brand when no one else was even thinking about the ideas I was proposing
  • Globally connected to all of the thought leaders in my field
  • Launched a business off the back of my blog/personal brand

That’s my story so far, and I know my journey will continue to unfold, but I cannot express strongly enough that this is a career game changer. If you start and commit to it, doing a great job as well, you will be more successful than you can imagine. But it’s up to you. No one will do this for you.

And right now, it should be your biggest priority

Think about it. There are two candidates for a job. One has a collective audience of 20,000 across various social media platforms, and they have a strong community that respects their views and reads their content. They are a valuable asset to any employer. And then here you are with an outdated LinkedIn profile, little presence anywhere else, and let’s say you have less than 500 connections. No matter how good you are, do you think you’ll stand a chance of getting the job versus someone who is an influencer? Not today, not in this new world.

Things have changed. We are all brands and the only person that can control our own brand is ourselves.

Another little quote popped up this week, which I found quite apt…

   Change before you have to, Jack Welch

Please, don’t wait until you get made redundant. Don’t even do it because you might be made redundant. Do it because it’s what you need to be successful today and in the future. Social media is a gift. Embrace it and use it to chase your dreams. I have. It’s remarkable the benefits you get in return.

I’ve written a tonne of blogs on the how and why. So please, take a look and make you a priority. You can find relevant blogs here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. There are more, but this is a start.

It’s so critical and as I’m predicting 2017 is going to be the year of Employee Advocacy, it’s going to be even more important. Watch this space.

Have I got your commitment? Please don’t be one of my friends, squirming in their chair, looking at me with a guilty face, because you know that I know that you know you should have been all over this years ago!

Get on it huh?

Cheers

Andrea

Abstract scream image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I really appreciate it. If you like it, I’d love a comment, or perhaps you can tell me what you’ve gained from building a personal brand? Of course, please feel free to share with your communities, because that’s what this is all about today – sharing and giving to each other.

If you like my style and what I talk about, feel free to follow me on any of these platforms on social media. My Google+ The Digital Conversationalist company page is new, so would appreciate some followers J.

Also stay tuned for my forthcoming book “How to Build a Rock Star Personal Brand.” I am determined to get it done by Christmas. Wish me luck.

My blog andreatedwards.com

Twitter @AndreaTEdwards

LinkedIn AndreaTEdwards

LinkedIn The Digital Conversationalist

Facebook AndreaTEdwards

YouTube Andrea Edwards

SlideShare  AndreaTEdwards

Google+ +AndreaEdwards

Google+ The Digital Conversationalist

Networking Last Friday of the Month

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