In this day and age of massive amounts of information being available to everyone and also the choices of what and how much we consume (mentally eat — see my posting on the Information Diet), — the question of having a personal identity in this Tsunami of media is overwhelming.
As Daniel Scocco points out, if your livelihood depends on your identity, then it is even more imperative to establish that network and build your reputation. Here is a quote from Daniel:
Even if you have your own company or if you work for yourself, having a strong personal brand will always help. For instance, I am now focusing on the development of mobile apps, and once one of those apps gain traction I will need to look for outside investors. Guess what, my personal brand will affect the way those investors see me and their willingness to invest money on my project.
In fact I heard many venture capitalists argue that when they make an investment, they are mainly investing in the founders, and not in the product itself. That is because the product or business model can always be changed or adapted, but if the founders don’t have the necessary skills and attitudes, then no product will save the company.
And the impact of your personal brand go far beyond that. It affects pretty much everything you do professionally: the jobs that will be offered to you, the people who will hire you as a consultant, the people who will approach you for collaborations and partnerships, the people who will be willing to buy from your company, and so on.
If you are not spending time on personal marketing yet, well, you better start!
Practically speaking, there are several things you can do to improve your personal brand. The first and most obvious one is to get more active on social media sites. Create a profile on the largest ones (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and start publishing some high quality content there.
Second, make sure you have a personal website/blog, preferably using your name. This site will serve many purposes: it will be a hub where you can display all your projects, it will work as a dynamic resume, and it will allow you to build your brand as an expect in whatever niche you work on.
Finally, another advantage of building your personal brand via social media sites and by having your own personal website is that you will control the Google search results for your name. That is, whenever someone searches for your name, most of if not all the results will be controlled by yourself, meaning that you can control the image that those people will get from you.
Bottom line: you need to spend some time on your personal marketing!
Which brings me to repeating my old mantra: Everyone should have their own website.