Why Would an Employee Create a Personal Brand? - Benefits of Personal Branding for Employees

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Creating a personal brand can deliver virtually unlimited professional and personal benefits

It’s clear how entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk use their personal brands to support their businesses. But you might say, “I’m not an entrepreneur. Why would an employee create a personal brand?”

To answer this question, we’ll discuss the benefits of personal branding for employees in this blog post. This includes the advantages a personal brand offers for career growth, as well as the opportunity to create a personal brand that supports side hustles and monetization.

Why Would An Employee Create A Personal Brand?

When personal branding first became a practice it was closely tied to the art of publicity, with celebrities, politicians, and business executives hiring publicists and taking executive coaching classes in order to curate the way they present themselves to the public.

Anyone Can Create a Personal Brand

Thanks to the proliferation of social media, content creation tools, and the popularity of the creator economy, a personal brand is now an asset anyone can create and leverage for themselves. 

Entrepreneurs creating ecommerce side hustles that turn into full time businesses, and creators like Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi and Justin Welsh are examples of individuals who have built prominent personal brands to support their career goals.

Eve Arnold is another great example of personal branding, as her “Part Time Creator Club” content focuses on encouraging people who have 9-5 jobs to become creators on the side by building a following for their personal brand, and starting side hustles to earn additional income. 

Related: Examples of Personal Brands: 5 Personal Brand Examples From Creators Who Built Huge Audiences and Successful Businesses

Having a Personal Brand as an Employee

After reading about those examples perhaps you are thinking that creating content to sell your own products or start your own business isn’t of interest. In that case, the benefits of personal branding that support career growth and lead to new job opportunities will be your priority.

With how competitive the job market is, any advantage helps. And a personal brand can be the difference between industry recognition that helps you land job roles and advance in your career, and being stuck with jobs you don’t enjoy, or that lack growth opportunities.  

In these instances, a personal brand will help you stand out among other employees, make valuable connections, learn new skills, and accomplish your goals as a professional. 

Related: Tools for Personal Branding: Best Marketing Tools to Add to Your Personal Branding Toolkit

Your Personal Brand Is a Career Safety Net 

Should you ever want or need to change jobs, a personal brand is a career safety net for an employee. 

Let’s say something happens at work that forces you to decide your job is no longer the right fit, or you face an unfortunate circumstance like a layoff. Would you rather have a strong network to fall back on that is aware of your skills and expertise, and that can offer job referrals or hire you? Or would you rather be in a precarious job situation with very few contacts, and no leverage or backup plan? 

The answer to this one is easy, and demonstrates the importance of a personal brand

As your personal brand grows, you build a network of contacts who can bail you out when you need career support. Examples of this include being able to announce on LinkedIn that you are looking for work and to have your connections help you find your next role. 

Or perhaps your network has several recruiters in it, or potential clients you can do freelance work for while you look for your next full time role.

These avenues are examples of the ways in which a personal brand gives you optionality in your career, which is a huge advantage when you’re looking for your next job opportunity, or forced into the job market earlier than you’d like to be.

Related: Personal Branding Tips: 5 Things Every Professional Should Have to Build Their Brand

You Will Earn Respect And Trust Among Your Colleagues

Another good answer to the question “why would an employee create a personal brand” is that a personal brand helps you earn the respect of your coworkers and colleagues. 

Being an active member of your industry’s community, publicly representing your company and showcasing the quality of professional it employs, and putting yourself out there to share your expertise are all activities that are admirable from the perspective of your coworkers and industry peers. 

Related: Personal Brand Attributes Examples - Different Types of Personal Brand Attributes Explained

Employees With Personal Brands Are Assets for Their Employers

You might think that a personal brand would be viewed as a distraction by people within your organization. But it is likely to be quite the opposite, as having employees with prominent personal brands has a host of benefits for employers and their businesses. 

For example, if a marketing agency’s employees are active on Twitter sharing marketing tips and analysis, it could help to attract new customers, employees, partners, and investors. This is because those employees are helping to establish credibility for themselves, and in turn establishing credibility for their organizations. In this way employee personal brands become an extension of a company’s corporate brand, and can help to elevate it. 

As an employee, rather than looking at a personal brand as something your employer will frown upon, look at it as another avenue for you to demonstrate your value to your employer. As your own reputation contributes to the positive reputation of your company. 

Related: Personal Branding Myths Debunked: What People Get Wrong About Personal Brands

You Will Develop New Skills And Expertise That Make You Better At Your Job

Building a personal brand is a self discovery and self development journey for an employee. 

Unlike your existing job role where you can lean on your boss, colleagues, and employees on your team, no one is going to build your personal brand for you or help you do so. This self accountability puts you into a type of “professional survival mode” where you must be reliant on your own skills, capabilities and motivation.

Do you want to build a following on social media? Great. Then learn about copywriting, community building, and social media marketing. Do you want to create an ecommerce side hustle? Then learn how to set up an ecommerce website, start creating your own products, and learn about marketing and advertising.

These examples demonstrate how when it comes to personal branding, the projects and activities involved force you to step out of your comfort zone and learn and apply new skills.

For an employee, these activities are an opportunity to work on projects and learn skills that fall outside of what you would typically encounter during the course of your normal work day. And the great part is these new skills, knowledge and perspective on your industry will directly benefit you in your job role. Examples of this include:

  • Having key industry trends top of mind because you were researching them in order to create social media content for your brand
  • New content creation skills like video editing that you learned while creating TikTok or YouTube content for your personal brand channels
  • Improved writing abilities and knowledge of different platforms like newsletters, LinkedIn, and websites
  • New business and finance skills 
  • Improved communication skills and self confidence from things like doing more networking and building connections in your niche, public speaking, joining podcasts, and attending networking events related to your personal brand

These are just a few examples of skills you learn while building a personal brand that can directly translate to your existing 9-5 job. Skills development yielded by personal branding will make you better at your job, and help you to advance further in your role.

Related: The Pros and Cons of Personal Branding

You Can Use Your Brand To Earn Additional Income By Starting A Side Hustle

Once you post content consistently and create a killer brand story, people will start seeing your content and leaning into your story and message, turning them into followers, fans, and subscribers and eventually making them loyal customers. 

The creator economy and trend toward entrepreneurship are making employees with side hustles a norm. 

  • Many employees have ecommerce side businesses where they sell products and crafts that they create themselves. 
  • Others write and create content professionally on the side for a small number of clients, or through platforms like Medium and Substack where you can charge people to subscribe to your content.
  • Creating digital products is another option, with creators like Eve Arnold, Easlo, and Shreya Pattar demonstrating how you can build a personal brand following and sell digital products to that following.

Monetizing your personal brand through side hustles like the examples above is a clear benefit of personal branding that employees can enjoy.

If you are concerned about your side hustles impacting your job performance, being too distracting, or upsetting your boss, consider the following tips:

  • Pick set times where you work on your personal brand projects. For example, Eve Arnold writes content for her personal brand every morning before starting her 9-5. This ensures she gets what she wants to done for her own projects, and protects her full time work schedule
  • Be transparent about your personal brand projects. Talk to your boss about your personal brand goals and let them know how important it is to you. That way they won’t be surprised when they see you becoming more active on platforms like social media.

Related: Personal Brand Framework: 5 Steps to Defining Your Personal Brand [plus a free template]

Frequently Asked Questions

People asking why would an employee create a personal brand also asked these questions:

Why would you want a personal brand?

You would want a personal brand because it is an invaluable career asset. Personal branding grows your network, makes you more employable, enables you to learn new skills, and offers avenues for earning more money through side hustles and offering your own products and services to your expanded network.

What are three benefits of your personal brand?

Three benefits of your personal brand include exposure to more job opportunities, an expanded network of contacts, and the opportunity to learn and showcase new skills and expertise.

Final Thoughts

A personal brand is a powerful way to increase your influence, impact, and income. Start creating your brand today. Are you ready to create your digital footprints and let the world know the value you can add to your industry?

Bonus Personal Branding Tips and Insights

About the author

Hi, I'm Justin and I write Brand Credential.

I started Brand Credential as a resource to help share expertise from my 10-year brand building journey.

I currently serve as the VP of Marketing for a tech company where I oversee all go-to-market functions. Throughout my career I've helped companies scale revenue to millions of dollars, helped executives build personal brands, and created hundreds of pieces of content since starting to write online in 2012. Thank you for reading and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

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