The first reason to shape your personal branding efforts is to take responsibility. If you aren’t going to take responsibility for your personal brand, who will? This may seem like a no-brainer, but the truth is, it’s a decision you have to make, and something that you will need to keep up with once you start.
Something changes when you truly take responsibility for how you present yourself in person, online, and in every other way. It starts to seep slowly into how you make decisions, how you think about yourself, and the effects of that stretch far and wide.
Taking responsibility for your personal brand means that you take control of the tone of the conversation about you online, and that you start the conversation about you in person. Starting and owning the tone of the conversation about you online is an important avenue to build a solid base of the kind of conversation you want to have about you in that space. It is critical to be vigilant about what you say about yourself, and equally important to know and take responsibility for what is out there from any source. If you are looking for work clients, or any kind of opportunity, chances are they are looking online to find out what they can about you. And as Kevin Donline of the Star Tribune Minneapolis in St. Paul, Minnesota reported:
“Seventy-seven percent of recruiters report using search engines to find background data on candidates. Of that number, 35 percent eliminated a candidate because of what they found online.”
Three out of four recruiters will look up information about you online, and those who do will use that information to eliminate more than one in three candidates they are considering.
Taking the responsibility and owning your own personal brand puts you in the driver’s seat, and you will find that your awareness, not only of your brand, but of the way your brand interacts with and affects your business and field overall can be a powerful thing.