Do you know why people will pay more money for a brand names? Why do people think brand name products are better? It's simple. Brand names offer a promise of value over their lesser-known counterparts. For years, branding has been used to create strong, enduring relationships with customers.
What Is A Brand?
A brand is a perception in someone's mind about someone or something. Branding is no longer for big companies. In the new millennium, everything is a brand. Places, products, and people are all brands! In other words, people are brand name products. In today's market place, you are a product and you have to start looking at yourself that way. Why? Because it is a competitive market out there and you must distinguish what's unique about you. One of the ways to market your brand is through building your network.
What Is A Personal Brand?
A personal brand is simply the perception that others have about who you are, what you do, and what makes you different.
Some 80% of available jobs are never advertised, and over half of all employees obtain their jobs through networking, according to BH Careers International. As a result, the most important component of a successful job search is your network - consisting of friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, teachers, and co-workers. How do most brand names become popular? It's simple. Word of mouth!
Having these connections gives you valuable resources and information about specific job openings that are not publicly posted anywhere else. In general, relationships open up a world of opportunities, you might have otherwise missed. In my Branding You In The Real World audio program, I explain how to create your network of raving fans.
There are many ways to gather a network, but the most common are these:
Professional associations that have already built a reputation, brand name, and a network of professionals that share common interests.
Researching successful people in your related field and contacting them, asking for them to mentor you.
Connecting with family, friends, and teachers to develop your networks through their networks.
Active involvement in colleges, universities, sports teams, or hobbies.
Joining social networks, which expand your networking to a global scale.
Volunteering for worthy causes - this speaks about your character.
Networking at your place of worship; people tend to do more business with those who have similar value systems.
The Top 3 Networking Benefits:
Identifies positions that are not advertised through online resources, job fairs, or classifieds.
Accelerates the job search process, allowing for either fewer interviews or automatic acceptance.
Brings together individuals who share common interests and competencies who can eventually open up new business opportunities.
The Rise of Social Networks
Social networks are developed through web sites that allow users to connect with each other by displaying photography and personal information and using a communication system, either messages or IM. Two-thirds of people online have visited a social networking site. Since January 2004, the number of people visiting or taking part in one of the top, online social networks, such as Facebook or MySpace, has grown over 109%. Soon, there will be as many social network visitors as visitors to Yahoo or Google.
What does this mean for you? If you don't join a social network, you will have a competitive disadvantage and lose the global reach that others will have. Social networking is deeply rooted in personal branding. Personal branding is your total perceived value, relative to competitors, as viewed by your audience. With social networking, your total perceived value is a collective sum of your profile picture and the content that you produce on the site. The audience in this case is any visitor to your social network page.
The makeup of your personal brand has four main elements: personality, appearance, competencies, and differentiation. Your total perceived value takes into account these elements, and is considered to be your core message or "elevator pitch" to your audience.
Personal Branding Will Elevate Your Career
Personal branding is an important factor to consider when networking. You must learn how to cultivate your brand and promote it to the world. That old saying, "If you build it they will come" isn't true. You have to tell them you are here. If you want to know the steps of building an effective personal brand, order my audio program Branding You In The Real World.