Branding is typically used when referring to companies. Today, I want to talk about what it means to have a personal brand and why it can be more useful than a corporate brand.
People cannot relate to a company. They can only relate to other people. Companies also have a lot of competition -- people, not as much. And finally, individuals are seen as the leaders or authority on a subject. This is why personal branding is important.
When you meet someone you do not know, the first thing you may want to do is Google them. "Googling" someone is the best way to tell if they have an established or purposefully created brand. First impressions are crucial. If the search pulls up random images or irrelevant websites, people will think that you have no online presence. In this age, that is unacceptable and you will lose out on customers who won't even bother to pursue you any further. Just consider the number of lost customers from a poor brand.
Own your online presence. If there are negative reviews or posts, create positive ones to push the bad ones further down (I mean who even checks the second page of google). No one is perfect. So the key is to find out what is making you look bad and fix it.
Another key component of branding is consistency. You don't want to have people confused when they stumble upon your name. Keep your name consistent across ALL media platforms. Every time your name is mentioned, make sure it is exactly the way you want it to be mentioned.
Finally, be sure to create the total package. You want the image that is created about you to be a positive one. You want people to hear your name and see good things in their heads. Give yourself and your company credibility. Be purposeful about what people see when they discover you. Make sure that they discover something that will keep them coming back to you.