Personal branding is one of the hottest topics in the business world today. In the past, it was thought that branding was only relevant at the corporate level, but now through the power of social media, individuals are recognized as having a personal brand. The most successful originators understand that their business model is driven by their own personal brand and not by external factors. In my opinion, originators need to recognize the importance of having an effective personal brand.
In a great book by Jeremy Goldman and Ali Zagat, Getting to Like: How to be Everyone’s First Contact, the authors contend that everyone in today’s digital world should be concerned about personal branding. They point out that if you don’t acknowledge your brand, prospects will draw their own conclusions which may not be correct. They make the point that personal branding is similar to a company’s mission statement. It defines who you are as a person and what you are capable of.
Goldman and Zagat further note that anyone who ignores personal branding is “missing out on an opportunity to build the best version of themselves.” I believe this is true for both rookie originators as well as veteran producers who must reinvent their professional identities in order to stay current.
Personal branding is particularly critical for our industry as experienced originators must make the case for why they deserve a prospect’s business with every contact. Goldman and Zagat suggest that every individual is challenged to answer the following questions:
• What are the strongest and most unique features of your brand?
• Is your narrative compelling to draw others in?
• Does your current narrative reflect what is happening today?
• Does your narrative create trust and is it relatable?
• Does your narrative say what you do and who you are?
These are hard questions that cannot be answered in just in one sitting. The good news is that originators who determine the answers are well on the way to creating a strong personal brand which differentiates them from thousands of other originators. Isn’t it time to make the effort?