Why Personal Branding Matters
What do people think about you and say about you when you’re not in the room?
That’s your personal brand.
Do they think you’re trustworthy, smart, thoughtful, hardworking, lazy, annoying, interesting? Do they tell people that you know your stuff or that you’re full of sh*t?
Whatever reputation you have, that’s your personal brand. It’s just a different word for it.
So the activity of “personal brandING”, to me, is like networking.
When you go to a networking event, you talk to people: you introduce yourself, you share a little bit about your life, you talk about what you do.
You don’t *only* talk about your professional life.
When you meet people, they want to put you into context. They do that to figure out of you’re like them, in some small part. So they’ll ask whether you’re married, if you have kids, where you live, where you went to school and what you studied, who you know already at the event, etc.
Why? Because that’s how we evaluate whether someone is trustworthy.
We look at them, hear them talk, see their facial expressions and body language, and evaluate the context of their life and how it relates to us.
We form connections with people with whom we have things in common. Example:
“Hey, I’m Behrad, I’m married, we live in Kreuzberg. I just recently got into wine, we went on this trip to California and did some wine tasting, which was super enriching.”
“Oh, I love wine too! What’s your favorite?”
Eventually, the other person asks, “So what do for work?”
Only then do you talk about professional things. But now the conversation is on a different level because you feel like you know the person a little bit; you’ve formed a connection with them.
We do this naturally when we meet people in person.
That’s what personal branding is when it comes to creating content: it’s incorporating those personal elements into your content strategy.
You share a little bit about your personal life, your hobbies, what being married taught you, your favorite books, etc.
It does 2 things:
1. It gives you more surface area for someone to relate to you. Makes you more likable.
2. It builds trust with people because it’s exactly this context we need to be able to evaluate people.