A personal brand is about making your reputation known to the public. In other words, it is a self-PR about who I am and what I can do for you.
Why is personal brand important in achieving financial freedom? There are three main reasons:
1) Personal brands reduce the risk of loss of labor income
2) Personal brands bring other income opportunity
3) Personal brands broaden your network
1. Personal brands reduce the risk of loss of labor income
Labor income is meaningful in collecting seed money to achieve financial freedom. However, labor income, like any other income, is unstable.
No one knows when a company will go bankrupt and gets laid-off. In other words, regular employees should always have a plan B that allows them to change jobs or do other jobs.
Under such circumstance, the personal brand plays a role of helping the employees finding other opportunities.
Former McKinsey consultant Victor Cheng describes his definition of personal brand as follows:
“If you have a personal brand, then opportunity will find you. If you do not have a personal brand, then you have to find opportunity.”
In other words, without a personal brand, when I change jobs, I have to run around and show who I am and what I am capable of doing. Conversely, if you have a personal brand, job offers or other job opportunities will come to you even if you are not doing anything. Because they already know what I am capable of doing, opportunities come to me.
In fact, many people around the world have built their own personal brand through LinkedIn and receive a job change opportunity.
2. Personal brands bring other income opportunity
Let me give you an example. Although I am not very famous, I have decided to build a personal brand as an East Asian economy, language and finance expert, and for this purpose, I am posting content on various social media sites such as YouTube, LinkedIn, and blogs.
In fact, some freelance advertisements, business items, etc. came to me. I’ll write another article about freelance opportunities.
Whether I do or not when these opportunities come to me is purely my choice. In other words, for me, there are more options to choose from, thanks to personal brand.
3. Personal brands broaden your network
Even if personal brand does not give me a direct financial benefit as above, a personal brand helps me to expand my personal network.
In my case, there are often people who see my posts online and send me a Connection on LinkedIn or a personal email to me. I accept everyone I come in contact with, even if I do not benefit from them right now.
You never know what kind of help a person may need in life. Therefore, maintaining relationships with various people or building a network is a great intangible asset for anyone.
A personal brand is essential where the concept of a lifetime job has disappeared. In the future, the difference between those who have a personal brand and those who do not will be huge.
Next, I’ll explain how to develop a personal brand.
This article is also written in Korean.