Why I Regret Not Building a Personal Brand Ten Years Earlier
Do you roll your eyes at social media influencers and think they are mostly pathetic, attention-grabbing fake people? While clearly, some are cringe-worthy, times are changing. Building a personal brand is becoming mandatory in the modern world for EVERYONE. People without one will regret it.
Now I am suspicious of anyone under fifty who says they don’t have social profiles. What are they hiding? Are they anti-social, in general? What is wrong with them?
Let me set it straight for the record: I am a Gen Xer. My generation did not grow up with the Internet. It may feel like a different time period altogether because it was. My parents had a rotary phone (Millennials, you can google that) and I listened to cassette tapes in my bedroom as a teenager. We learned DOS computer systems in school. When I entered the workforce, Google was in its’ infancy and Facebook and YouTube didn’t yet exist.
Business used to be based on a personal connection. You actually met people in-person. Your circles were smaller but more meaningful. Networking meant grabbing a beverage and working your way around a large room filled with people to introduce yourself. You handed out paper business cards. Then you waited a week and called people on the phone. You hoped they hadn’t thrown your business card away, which often happened. You mailed people brochures and faxed them quotes.
Those times are over. Today we still love in-person events but connections and follow-ups are all online. In the meantime, you google people to spy on them and check your social clout. Have you ever googled yourself? Everyone is doing it. If you apply for a job, you are warned that the recruiters and hiring managers definitely looked you up first. Having inappropriate social handles or unprofessional photos viewable by the public can severely hurt your job chances.
Your personal brand is your professional worth.
I waited too long to build my personal brand. I registered my name as a website years ago but left it under construction. I set up social profiles that I left unchanged for years, letting them get…