If you have an account on LinkedIn, you are likely exposed to thousands of ‘personal’ brands each day. From what you post on social media to how you sign off an email, a personal brand can be a powerful thing that shapes how the people of the world see your professional self.
When companies invest time and resources into helping their employees propel and magnify their personal brands, it can be highly beneficial for the person and the brand they represent.
Anyone can use the corporate brand’s narrative to help carve their own. Let’s take a look at which roles in particular should be actively encouraged to propel their personal brand.
Those sending out emails, inMails or hosting sessions with prospects are not only representing the company, but in most cases are the first point of contact for individuals. They are responsible for building trust in the brand and establishing a positive relationship with business decision-makers across the world.
It’s vital that sales professionals have the basic sales tools and documentation they need to do their job, but above this, they need support to create an impressive online presence. If a prospect is being reached out to by a sales professional, more often than not, they will check them out on Google. If the prospect is met with a poor online presence, it may tarnish the respect they have for the brand. If the individual is a thought leader or active poster online, they could be more likely to engage.
- Needs access to videos, social assets and email templates
- Nees access to tone of voice guidelines
- Should understand brand values
Customer Service Professionals
Much like Sales Professionals, those in customer service play a crucial role in how they portray the brand to new and existing customers. They too need access to documentation that can assist them with queries and company information, but if they actively made being helpful and knowledgeable part of their personal brand, there could be an exponentially positive ripple effect on the company’s reputation.
Customer Service Professional
- Needs detailed documentation
- Needs access to tone of voice guidelines
- Should understand brand values
Managers and Director-Level Professionals
Your brand’s content strategy may not extend to the experts in your business, but it most definitely should. Not just from a corporate perspective, but from an employer brand view.
People want to know the company they’re investing in, whether as a customer or a potential candidate, is as expert as it claims. If each head of department is creating their own content (or assisted in creating it), those in each respective team can share, comment and engage – further casting the net for your brand to get noticed.
Managers and Director-Level Profession
- Needs access to professional resources such as copywriters and videographers
- Shoukd pioneer brand values
- Needs specific area of expertise to become thought leader on
HR and Employer Brand Teams
Showing the world that you lead by example is a great way to attract recruits. Those that are responsible for attracting and retaining employees should shout about what a great place it is to work, and keep everyone updated with any new or impressive policies.
HR and Employer Brand Teams
- Helps brand to practice what it preaches
- Understands employee brand inside out
- Needs access to pool of assets
What will motivate employees to build their personal brand?
Employees that do not have a strong personal connection to your brand are unlikely to be willing to build their personal brand in conjunction with your corporate story. Your employer brand must be strong in the first place and rooted in a positive culture in order for personal brand building to be effective and beneficial.
Here are some key ways to help motivate employees:
- When setting guidelines on what they can and can’t do, make them easy to read, understand and implement.
- Provide easily accessible resources and assets that can be edited or shared directly.
- Don’t expect this personal brand building to take place outside of work hours – it’s a big ask. Allocate some work time to personal development and brand building – once they’ve reached a certain level, employees are more likely to invest their own time.
- Don’t leave them hanging. If they want to be involved but are unsure of how to get started, put them in touch with whoever can help, such as your agency, marketing consultants, designers or copywriters. You could even do in-house sessions that help individuals in certain aspects of personal brand building.
- Don’t be too militant about which websites they can access on the company network. Restricting access to social media, for example, will discourage employees from building any form of personal brand.
- It’s important to remember that not everyone will want to partake in representing the company on their personal channels. It’s a big step for many, so think about rewarding those that do contribute – this can help incentivise others.
- Know your brand mission and identity – if your brand is misaligned internally there’s little point in getting employees to shout about it.
Building a personal brand: what they need checklist
Now we’ve covered the who and the how, let’s get into the what. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it is the bare minimum your team should expect to implement should you wish to recruit more employees into building their personal brand:
Without a professional photo, an employee has little chance of making a good impression. If a photographer isn’t available then someone should be available internally to help shoot them professionally.
LinkedIn (or equivalent) training
If social media isn’t part of their job, it’s a huge ask to expect employees to get involved. A crash course or ongoing support to help them progress and answer any questions will be critical.
Access to a company laptop or phone outside of work hours
If you want your employees to represent your brand at all times, they need access to the technology that can help them facilitate it, even if they don’t engage outside of work hours.
A copy of the company mission and values
Employees need to be aligned to their corporate mission and brand values, otherwise it’s a wasted effort trying to build their personal brand. Someone that doesn’t share your vision will be instantly obvious on any social media feed.
Brand and tone of voice guidelines
This may be a smaller, more focused version of your wider guideline document. It could contain all the key brand terminology, dos and don’ts, and some key information about their industry or area of expertise.
A digital resource for assets and files
Appearing professional starts with looking professional. This may begin with a nicely shot photo, but the content that appears on social feeds must look and feel like it’s part of the brand. Having a central, digital repository that teams can dip in and out of when needed will break down any barriers to engagement they have and actively encourage them to get involved.
A simple approvals process
If you’re using a Brand Activation Management (BAM) system, you should have a built-in DAM and approvals process for any new assets created. If your asset creation and sign-off process isn’t digitised, then try to make sure employees only have one hoop to jump through to get their content signed off – any more than this and they are likely to disengage.
Idea and topic generation sessions
Whether it’s in the form of a company meeting or a Friday whiteboard session, it shouldn’t be down to just the individual to come up with every topic they write about. While most content will be focused on their area of expertise, wider company updates and discussions are paramount, otherwise things can become quickly misaligned.
Assistance from other employees or an agency
If your employees are from a technical background or aren’t used to writing about themselves publicly, offer them access to resources inside or outside of your organisation that might be able to assist.
Empower your employees to build their personal brand with BAM by Papirfly™
One of the biggest barriers for brands is being able to produce high-quality, varied content on demand. Add brand advocates in the form of employees into the mix and that’s an entire content stream that needs to be accounted for. What BAM does is provide a central place for marketing teams and employees to create, edit, share and manage campaign materials.
Videos, social media assets, emails and more. Every digital and print asset team could need, produced in-house, by anyone, an infinite amount of times. The best part is that there’s a digital audit trail and an in-built sign-off process, so you can guarantee that only approved content makes its way onto the internet.
Find out more about BAM today or book your demo.