Personal branding and networking

Personal branding and networking

Introduction

Personal branding has proved to be an essential tool in marketing potential employees as well as their careers and companies with which they work. The emergence of business networking has pushed personal branding to a whole new level by increasing the visibility of employees as a brand which in return sales the companies name[1]. As a result, it becomes rife that networking, which is the act of interacting with like-minded people through constant communication and sustainable interpersonal relationship, goes hand in hand with personal branding[2].

Steps to building a personal brand

In reality, personal branding is a lifetime process that entails a deliberate and continuous process of improving personal value. The process is dynamic and entails both selling the name of a person and their career. This is because management theories have emphasized on the need for self-packaging which involves a valuable asset creation which is exemplified through clothing, individual body, physical appearance, online presence and personal knowledge. Because of the possible advantages accrued to personal branding, the following steps have been pertinent to my personal branding process and that of my career.

I will make use of social media. Social media has been a confused blessing in the past. It has both built and destroyed able minded people. However, I realize that social media is dependent on personal perception and creativity with which a person makes themselves stand out from the rest. After having started a motivational blog that has slowly attracted a large following from my friends and other people key personnel in the corporate world, I found myself obligated to making contributory articles, posting on companies websites and generally begun being active on social media that provided employment opportunities[3]. In addition, I have been an active user of author bios with the aim of practicing my interpersonal skills and creating a professional network. This is a strategy that I embraced earlier than I had planned but generally it has showcased my name on social networking sites such as LinkedIn. Through the connections that I have managed to cultivate and nurture through social media, I have landed several job offers which have increased my self-esteem with the realization that my social network is slowly increasing my value proposition and more so, it has made me visible to potential employers.

My second step towards personal branding has been the focus on communication and interpersonal skills. Communication is a valuable tool towards personal branding and networking. It begins with the realization that communication is the thread that knits societies, businesses and people together into forming one cohesive organization. Likewise, communication is a determining factor towards our social lives. Relatively it adds up to determining our probability of being a success. For instance, good negotiators have been found to make god marketers. Apparently negotiation is a universal attribute that is needed by any person who needs to have a holistic view of themselves or that of the organization with which they work[4]. In order to suit the generic attributes required in the corporate world, I have been involving myself with lots of socialization in the recent past. I have had to face big audiences with the intent of boosting my confidence levels. Again confidence is a key ingredient to personal branding. Just like communication, people who ooze confidence are seen as being more attractive to employers. This becomes a twofold endeavor where I have to boost my confidence as well as improve my interpersonal skills through communication[5].

Strategies for networking

Online personal branding and networking strategy are the use of the internet and social networks to create a value proposition for a person. Just the same way businesses have marketed themselves through social media; people have found it easier to sell themselves to potential employers through by creating networks using media platforms. The essence of this strategy is the creation and growth of a circle of like-minded friends who focus on achieving the same goals or have a common purpose. This strategy is supported by the Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which shows that human wants and needs are varied; therefore, two people have to be on the same level for them to network properly[6]. Such circles are built on trust and optimism that their circle will grow as they continue to interact and know more people in each other’s circle. By so, doing people continuously brand them and make them better positioned for personal growth.

The second strategy is face to face networking strategy. Here, people make use of physical platforms that increase contact with people. Anyone who intends to use this strategy should be prepared to meet and know people within his or her circle of expertise so as to better their chances of creating high quality personal relationships. This strategy is expensive as compared to the online strategy because it involves travelling and living in a real world which demands that a person is presentable so as to create a favorable first impression to other like-minded professionals in the field. Unlike online strategies, which are simulated, physical interaction of people is more bonding thus it creates a more cohesive network. In addition, there is a higher opportunity for personal branding while using the face to face strategy as compared to online because of security reasons and those to do with confidentiality. The use of referral business membership clubs makes the face-to-face strategy more real and captivating because interaction with successful people within the network becomes contagious leading to higher chances of personal success.

Keeping in mind the two strategies and the steps that I have outlined as the guide to attaining my goal of personal branding, I will build upon my internship experience by embracing the face to face networking strategy. This will be partially complemented by the online networking strategy which will come in handy in fashioning me with relevant information regarding emerging trends and new business ideas. These attributes are essential for personal branding as well as a growing company’ with which we are employed. My personal brand is a good corporate image. This is because creating a good impression in the corporate world has proved to be helpful to networking and personal branding. People create good corporate image by stating what they stand for and justifying that they can walk the talk. That is one reason I intent to develop on my communication skill which will buy my ticket to advanced personal branding.

Bibliography

Lair, Daniel., Sullivan, Katie. & Cheney, George. Marketization and the Recasting of the Professional Self. Management Communication Quarterly 18 (3): 307–343.2005

Lair, Sullivan and Cheney deeply engage the readers into the topic of professional development. The better part of their literature of personal branding and networking is concentrated on pages 307 to 322 where they elaborate how people can market themselves as well as their careers and employers or organizations.

[1] Lair, Daniel., Sullivan, Katie. & Cheney, George. Marketization and the Recasting of the Professional Self. Management Communication Quarterly 18 (3): 307–343.2005

[2] Lair et al, p. 370

[3] Lair et al, p. 312

[4] Lair, Sullivan & Cheney, 317.

[5] Lair et al, p. 312

[6] Lair, Sullivan & Cheney, 322.

ACED ESSAYS