Using personal branding to enhance your employer’s brand
Creating a personal brand isn’t for the faint of heart, but with a mix of authenticity, consistency, and diligence, it can pay off for you and your employer.
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Allums knows firsthand the benefits that can come from creating your own digital brand.
“For me personally, I went from barely eating to owning a fast-growing startup and speaking at events such as VidCon, TEDx, and Inbound,” says Allums. “That’s the benefit. It makes you more attractive, more desirable, and it really doesn’t matter what industry you work in, your age, occupation, etc. It can help just about everyone.”
Still, Allums acknowledges there are a lot of reasons why people don’t make the leap themselves, foremost among them being fear. “Another one that I see is that people think that it’s egotistical. My response to all of the excuses would be to ask yourself why you’re doing it. For me, I want to leave a legacy and ensure that no one has to go through the struggles that I’ve had to, and show everyone that resourcefulness is always going to be more important than resources. That’s why I do it. My mission is more important than my fear, and it’s more important than everything else. So, what’s your mission? Figure that out and ask yourself, is it worth it? More than likely it will be. If not, that’s probably not your actual mission.”
Of course, Allums isn’t suggesting that everyone just start making videos and start their own companies. In truth, personal brands can be the perfect way to augment your employers’ corporate brand.
“My company thrives because of this,” Allums notes. “We surpassed six figures in our first few months without any real outbound sales or outreach. For the most part, clients came to us because [we personally spoke about the brand]. Before I started this company, I was going into organizations and teaching them about the importance of their employees having — and the companies investing in — their own personal brands. There was a lot of resistance there. What if they leave our company? Why would we do that? That’s stupid. But it really does help both. More eyes on people means more eyes on the brand, so long as you do it right. The trick is to make sure that both brands are aligned, which is why we take our culture so seriously in our company.”
Allums suggests in order to create unique, relevant content that begins the process of creating a personal brand, individuals should at all costs avoid copying someone else, or outright stealing their ideas.
“Start with figuring out who you are,” recommends Allums. “What do you believe? What are your thoughts? What makes you unique? Take some time to get to know you and then start somewhere. There is no right or wrong place to start, just start. And don’t stop. Focus on getting really good at being you. I test everything. What’s resonating? What’s being shared? Because of that, I’ve gotten to know myself, my strengths, and what people like to see from me. But just take it one day at a time.”
After trying his hand at a variety of other platforms, Allums prefers LinkedIn because of its organic reach and sense of community. “It’s been fairly easy to build communities from my experience. The first group I created on LinkedIn had 1,500 members in a little over 24 hours. A lot of that is because I focused on building my brand on the platform first, but the people are there, and they want to support you. To give you an idea of that community, I launched a viral campaign out of that group within the first week, #WhyVideo, that generated millions of views.”
Individuals don’t need to amass thousands of followers and millions of views, however, to reap benefits from their online content creation — even offline.
“Imagine that you’re on an island, it’s storming nonstop, and everything that you want is on another island,” says Allums. “You have a small fishing boat and a paddle to get there. The boat is your brand. The paddle is your content. The ocean is the internet. The storm is all of the messages/noise being sent out on a daily basis. You need to build your brand so that you can get to everything that you want. The content is the thing that will bring you closer. And the longer you wait, the more it’s going to storm. Without that brand, it will more than likely be even harder to stand out in the future.”
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