Personal branding is a powerful tool that allows you to advance your career while increasing happiness at work. That’s because it’s all about aligning your original brand with your activities and career aspirations. And as we enter the hybrid workforce, we enter an exciting new phase of personal branding—Personal Branding 3.0 (PB3.0).
How did we get here?
At first, personal branding was sometimes a misunderstood concept, a prediction by noted management guru Tom Peters. When he published his manifesto “The Brand Called YOU” in Fast Company magazine, she talks about the future workplace where career success will depend on successful personal branding. It was way back in the 20th century (1997 to be exact).
Today, personal branding is recognized by professionals as an important career management approach and by employers as a tool to support, develop and advance their talent. But the path to ubiquitous personal branding was neither quick nor direct. At first, the only people who hugged him were the senior executives. After all, they were used to being the face of their organization. In fact, in the early days of personal branding, several companies started investing in increasing the visibility of their C-suite as a strategy to stand out from the competition.
Back then, many HR leaders and executives saw company-wide personal branding as a threat. They think, “If I help my people build their brand, they will be hounded by the competition. In addition, we have one corporate brand that we are building; we don’t want 10,000 individual brands out on the market.”
Fast forward to Personal Branding 2.0., when senior leadership finally realized that when you invest in your people and help them align how they work with who they are, they will improve their performance and loyalty to your company because of your investment in them. career success and happiness.
Personal Branding 2.0 was ushered in thanks to one major milestone: LinkedIn. The launch of LinkedIn in 2003 confirmed it was for career-minded professionals they take responsibility for their career, not their employer, and to be successful they need to proactively manage their career to achieve their goals.
And because LinkedIn is an online platform, this milestone also sparked a move from real-world branding (which is primarily done in the office, at networking events, and during presentations at conferences) to digital personal branding. PB2.0 sparked a movement to discard conformity and embrace individuality—helping organizations get the best out of their people and enhance professional success.
The pandemic reinforced the move into cyberspace, where first impressions are formed entirely online and Zoom meetings are places where professionals interact and showcase their brands.
As the pendulum has swung back to include some real-world connections, while we have learned to manage the many challenges we face due to the pandemic, a new hybrid workplace has taken us to the next frontier: PB3.0.
Personal branding is now a global phenomenon. Companies are no longer afraid of their people building their own brands; they have seen the light and encouraged them to celebrate their individual strengths and integrate them into their external brand communications strategy. Digital brand stewardship is becoming part of everyone’s job. Companies know that customers and potential employees trust what employees share more than what is broadcast on their official communication channels.
Best of all, this new incarnation of personal branding takes into account the significant human deficits in the workplace. The rapid proliferation of technology in the workplace (including the dreaded Zoom meetings) has been paired with reduced human interaction in virtual and hybrid environments, and PB3.0 is ameliorating the impact of that. In addition, the importance of DEIB’s culture aligns with the promise of personal branding, which always embraces diversity down to the individual level. And with the growing composition of the Gen Y and Z workforce, PB3.0 aligns with the workforce’s desire to be recognized for their unique contribution to the organization.
What does this mean for you? Here’s how to succeed in the Personal Branding 3.0 environment.
- Practice the three C’s of personal branding. Be clear about your unique value promise. Be consistent—stay true to yourself. And Be Constant. Strong brands don’t hide.
- Get your digital brand in order. Your first impressions and your efforts to build relationships, learn, and grow are all happening online. Translate your real self into a virtual world so you can get hooked on the small screen.
- Video masters. Video is the most powerful communication medium we have when we can’t be there in person—so make your on-the-fly communications (online meetings and presentations) interesting. On the other hand, in your asynchronous communication, use video (YouTube channel, video message) to convey a richer and more convincing message.
- Be extra human. Virtual/hybrid jobs and new technologies have created a humanitarian deficit. To be real and build meaningful connections, get emotional, check in with others, be generous with acknowledgments and compliments, and be vulnerable.
- Provide value. Strong brands are always visible, available, and valuable to the people they want to influence, influence, and impress. Put your stamp on everything you do and always deliver great value.
Personal branding has always had the potential to change individual careers and entire company cultures. Thanks to PB3.0’s innovative attitude and flair, that potential is now a stunning new reality.
William Arruda was one main speakerone of the founders of CareerBlast. TV and co-creator of Personal Brand Strength Audit – a free quiz that helps you measure the power of a personal brand.