The importance of Online Personal Branding

Personal branding is not a new phenomenon.
Some have always lived by the value of maintaining a low profile, which is all well and good. However, with the emergence of the internet and the trend of employers and potential clients treading digital footprints of individuals and organisations that they are interested in, it’s getting harder and harder to deny the potential of personal branding. Or should I say, online personal branding.
“Only celebrities do it.” Some might say.
That may well be true a decade earlier but now, even typical individuals with unique talents become celebrities through online personal branding.  Think video and website bloggers.
Having said that, it’s nice to note that the online arena doesn’t remain as an exclusive promotion platform for entertainers anymore. Bloggers, companies, freelancers and life coaches have joined the fray in a bid to offer valuable services in their areas of speciality.
Online and video resumes are the forefathers of online personal branding. Much have evolved since then. Personal websites, blog sites and many more variants of online features are now usable to promote one’s services to the world, whether one is an education provider, businessman, freelance trainer, editor, events organisers, or any other profession for that matter.
The slideshow above is but one among many materials promoting personal branding, which can extend easily from online to our physical realities.
Personal branding can start both ways. One can start branding themselves first with people around them before getting their name and digital footprints online, or one can establish one’s brand online first before stepping out to business and networking events in the real world to brand themselves.
Either way, it’s important to note one thing: When it comes to online branding, people do not come to you if they do not know you, no matter how strong your brand is or how capable you are. Hence, online branding does not stand alone. One has to brand themselves with the people around them first. Their online branding efforts will serve as a reinforcing and complementary support to their physical efforts, and not as the main pillar.  Just think Twitter.
Imagine which is easier: twitting on your own and then waiting for followers? Or having your name out there first through your published books, and/or your attendance at business and networking events?
So yes, online personal branding is great.
But it’s only omnipotent when your brand is already strong through your own initial branding efforts – offline.

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