Why personal branding for women is more important than ever
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You keep saying you want to present yourself differently, gain authority in your industry, be booked on national TV, grow your business, speak on a big stage, or confidently apply for that six-figure job. But as you read this, does your online presence reflect this?
If you’ve ever tried to build your personal brand from scratch, you know it can be daunting, but right now, more than ever, it’s vital for women.
American working women have taken a beating during the pandemic. Prior to 2020, they were more than just labor, a percentage that isn’t expected to return until 2024. It’s been a tough year, to say the least, and we’ve had to make tough decisions . Many women have seen their lives quickly transformed by stay-at-home orders, school closures and the start of remote working. When child care centers closed, hundreds of thousands of working mothers lost their jobs, forcing an overwhelming number of women compared to men to stay home and prioritize family needs.
Now that it’s time to get back into the workforce, women need to establish a personal brand. Whether you’re looking to find a new job, gain a promotion, or create a competitive advantage, it’s imperative that you now represent the best version of who you are online – show what you do, what you stand for, and what you stand for. what do you believe.
What is personal branding anyway?
Simply put, this term refers to how you present your unique combination of skills, experience, and personality, as well as your outlook. Jeff Bezos joked that personal branding is “…what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It can be a paralyzing thought; What are the lasting feelings that people around you have when you are no longer in their presence?
We tend to associate the concept of a well-designed brand with big business, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In the digital age, where we are the product, it has become an essential ingredient for success, both personally and professionally.
Related: 10 reasons why your brand needs to be online in 2022
The truth is, you have all the power to design how the world sees you and, by extension, your professional brand. You have everything you need, both visual and written, to breathe new energy into the space you occupy (or wish to occupy). Whether you’re an intrapreneur aiming for a six-figure promotion, the founder of a nonprofit organization, or a freelance Etsy designer looking to share your genius with the world, creating a strong and authentic personal brand is the differentiator – the key to getting more interviews, being considered for more opportunities, and giving people around you a memorable sense of who you are. A personal brand puts you in control of your next career move and helps you attract the employer you want, not just the one who will take you back.
Why it’s crucial for women entrepreneurs
Before the pandemic hit, your career path may have been a bit hazy or non-traditional. These times have changed everyone, especially giving us time to reflect on values and passions. The struggles highlighted our strengths and what sets us apart from others. For many, the pandemic has clarified which goals they wanted to keep pursuing, which ones they should let go of, and where a larger goal might lie. All of the above constitutes who you are. This introspection will help you truly thrive and is key to creating a personal brand story. When you incorporate it into branding, you alert others to what you want and expect from your next career move, as well as what they can expect from you.
What is the story you want people to tell when you walk out of the room? This message you leave behind is your mark. Eventually, if done correctly, it becomes more than a career or a business; it becomes your inheritance. Whether you’ve decided to return to the same field, start your own business, or perhaps run for political office, building a strong brand will help elevate all goals.
Related: How women are essential to post-pandemic leadership
Building a personal brand after the pandemic
As lockdowns and other restrictions unfolded, the world became a bit more tech-savvy and dependent on technology. We’ve all taken a crash course in video chats, remote work, or education and have certainly increased online activity overall, including maybe Googling a few new people who crossed our social feeds. This same level of curiosity online will continue as people leave their homes, seek out new relationships and try to reconnect with old ones.
According to the Pew Research Center, 31% of American adults report being online almost constantly now. So it’s clear that an online presence impacts our daily lives, whether we’re looking at the screen or producing content that others can find. What we each broadcast in the digital world has an impact. By creating a personal brand online, you attract the kind of people, employers and relationships you desire, while telling the world what you habit represent. It sets clear boundaries and expectations and lets the world know what your presence, ideologies, and work ethic bring to the table.
Such a digital footprint is, in fact, the first impression most employers, future relationships, and potential clients will see, so how you make it is more important than ever.
People buy from people first, and that will never change, and they don’t connect with stories that don’t resonate. If they can’t get in touch with you, they probably won’t bother buying from you either. Your personal brand is that connection.
Related: The 5 vital rules of personal branding
So, does your online brand reflect your inner brand? Have you created an online presence you can be proud of? The better you present your unique personality online, the easier your path will be. When done well, it encompasses story, vision and purpose and keeps an audience loyal and engaged no matter where life takes you.