In this day and age more than ever, to brand oneself has become an essential part of any job or business. Both business-branding and self-branding have become an essential part of life. Branding in regards to business has always been around, but Self-branding has grown over decades. Now, people like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are just as widely known as their products. Some would even say that they are what draws people in to buy Tesla cars and iPhones.
If you are looking to brand yourself in a similar way, you have come to the right place. Here, we will analyze how we brand ourselves and companies in the modern day from businesswoman Taleya Waller in comparison to how people once branded themselves and their companies.
How People Use To Brand Themselves
Decades ago, it was harder for people to brand themselves. If you didn’t have access to billboards or newspaper ads, which you could use to put your face or business on, you were basically hopeless. Even if you did have access to any of those things, it would have cost a pretty penny and take some time to get your name out there.
Paper Resumes And Applications
Talaya Waller did a TEDxTalk not too long ago about branding. In it, she gives an example of how she branded herself and sold herself to employers when she first got out of college. At first, Waller wanted to start her own business. Her father, however, told her that she would be better off finding a job as soon as possible.
You have no cash and no credit. The only place you running is home to print off resumes.
This is what he told her. I am sure plenty of Millennials have even heard this before because this was how people branded themselves and their skills before the rise of technology. People would just have to smile and hand over a piece of paper that supposedly reflects who they were instead. This experience was impersonal and did not make Waller stand out in comparison to other candidates. As a result, Waller did not find many jobs pertaining to her degree and had to take whatever job she could find, even if it didn’t pay well. It was the only way she knew how to get her name out there as a seemingly average person.
Most Millennials had to face similar obstacles when they were applying for jobs a decade or two ago. They would just have to physically hand over their resume or application and hope for the best. I, as a 20-year-old non-Millennial, even had to do this once or twice in my young life. So, I don’t doubt that others reading this had to do this a couple of times too.
Millennials have gone through some of the hardest economic times ever, which has made it harder for them to stay in jobs longer. According to Waller’s TEDxTalk, the average millennial will have 10 to 15 different jobs in their lifetime. Interestingly, this generation is the most professionally agile generation ever. Unlike our parents, who had a linear career that allowed them to stay in one job for the majority of their lifetimes, millennials have had a harder time selling themselves to employers during hard economic times, so they have had to adapt to other skills outside their degrees and experiences. I guess this generation took a page from ‘Rich Dad, Pood Dad’ and realized that having experience in multiple fields could lead to multiple streams of income, which, if done right, can lead to more money.
How We Brand Ourselves Today
As technology became more accessible to my generation and others, people evolved. They began to brand themselves in more effective ways to stand out from their competition. Technology has given us the ability to tap into the emotions of our employers and build relationships with them, and for them to tap into the emotions of consumers and build relationships with them.
Today, we can get the attention of future employers with websites and apps, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, which allow us to personalize ourselves so that employers can perceive us in the best light possible. It can also make you stand out among employers. A social media check is typical for companies during the hiring process now of days. It allows them to see you as an individual which most resumes can not do. That is why it is important to have a media kit for when you are looking to brand yourself and showcase your work to companies and employers.
Businesses have also taken advantage of technological advancements to aid in their marketing practices.
For instance, let’s say that you have a lemonade stand. Let’s also say that everyone in your neighborhood also sells lemonade. They sell theirs for 25 cents per cup, but you sell yours for 1 dollar a cup because the lemons you use in your lemonade are the freshest. You can use the freshest lemons because your car allows you to drive to the best lemon farms far away. Everyone else in the neighborhood does not have a car, so they can’t get fresher lemonades, thus, their lemonade is not as good and is sold for less money. Eventually, everyone else gets a car to drive farther to get the freshest lemons for their lemonade. Now, everyone else is selling their lemonade for 1 dollar because their lemonade is of higher quality like yours.
Now you are probably thinking about how you can make your business stand out from your competitors and sell your lemonade for more? Well, today you would have technology like social media to find out who your customers are. If you see that a majority of your customers are stay-at-home moms in the neighborhood who buy your lemonade, you would probably market your lemonade specifically to that demographic. You could do this by creating some slogan about housewives or use a picture of a housewife on your packaging. Waller uses this excellent example that I have expanded on to explain how technology has been useful for businesses.
The Use Of Influencers
Businesses are no longer interested in basic branding. Instead, they want their brand to give an experience, improve their consumers’ lives, or allow consumers to see themselves in the brand’s products. Therefore, technology is useful for getting to know the consumers who love the brand and how the brand can better market to them.
The average person gets 561% more engagement sharing a brand message than when that same brand message is shared by a company on social media.
Social media influencers are also useful for branding. They live a certain type of lifestyle that gives off an experience that their consumers envy, which the company usually can not do. Even their employees can have a greater influence on consumers than the brand itself. Waller says that the average employee has 10x more followers on social media than the company. That’s why using influencers or non-company owned accounts to brand a company is a much better option that can be done today with the increase on social media use.
Branding Yourself Is Easier Than Ever!
All it takes to brand yourself today is to a couple social media apps where you can create a brand for yourself or business and market it to a specific group. If you want to be a beauty influencer, be one! Just start recording your makeup skills online and sharing it with beauty companies! If you want to be a CEO of a business one day, you can! Just show off your achievements and skills in profession settings. That will really show people that you are going places!
With technology today, you can brand yourself however you’d like to get wherever you need.
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