Why personal branding is vital if you want to build trust

Great company brands are clear about who they are, why they do what do, and what differentiates them. They provide stellar products and services, create raving fans, build communities, and often charge a premium fee to willing customers.

Their marketing is religiously consistent, on message, always actively creating value and building brand equity.

Your personal brand should be no different.

This is what all recruiters should be aiming for. It doesn’t matter if you’re a recruitment owner, senior manager or consultant; you’re all in the business of selling and it’s paramount you’re building trust.

Brands go to great efforts to be more human. This is where your personal brand is at a distinct advantage, you are already human – and we know people buy from people.

Most recruiters haven’t been on a journey to define their personal brand. These are the three most common reasons:

  • They’ve not received any guidance.

  • Looking inwardly at oneself can make people feel uneasy.

  • Not knowing where to start so the task gets placed into the “too hard” basket.

Remember our target audience (candidates, clients, employees) are getting savvier when it comes to their buying decisions. They spend more time researching, to avoid unnecessary risks or by having their time wasted. Social proofing can play an important role in their decision making.

Let’s be pragmatic – people are often distrusting of recruiters. What do they learn about you when they google your name, or check you out on social media? You can play a role in orchestrating how people perceive you and trigger them to act.

A big part of your personal brand is the marketing and promoting of you. For many of you this could be your stumbling block - it feels egotistical or a bit scary “sharing you” with so many people. It opens you up to criticism – not everyone is going to like you, and that’s fine.

This promoting becomes a whole heap easier when you start to answer the questions that reveal the foundations to your authentic self.

  • Why do I do what I do?

  • What are my highest values (look at the different stages of your life)?

  • What are my beliefs and special strengths?

  • Why do people buy from me?

  • What is my personality?

  • How can I position my brand?

It’s crucial these values, beliefs and strengths marry up with what others think of you. Get external perceptions of your brand. Ask the right questions to extract these from your clients, candidates, employees - people who know you well.

Patterns will form – these insights are priceless to defining and building your brand.

This article isn’t to threaten recruiters. I’m not saying that if you don’t define and build your personal brand you will disappear. Look at this as a solution to improving your results.

You work in an industry that is so competitive. If you’re building trust deeper, quicker and attracting the right type of people instead of selling your backside of all-day long – surely, it’s a win, win.

Very successful and experienced recruiters don’t often feel the need to become more marketing focused and build their brand on social media. They feel they don’t need to change, have a trusted clients and candidate networks and their way works.

I believe this is short-sighted. I see the flow on effect this has on less experienced consultants in the same agencies who don’t have the same standing in their market. They need to become better marketers, period and require support and encouragement.

My advice is to speak with the early adopter recruiters, the ones who have embraced sharing their authentic selves on platforms like LinkedIn and have built engaged communities. Ask the questions: has it been worth the investment of your time and what results has it generated for you?

Sometimes hearing from your peers can help trigger the change.

Building your personal brand will lead to greater commercial success.

And who wouldn’t want that…?

David Wolstenholme is the founder of Brand Me Better, a company with a mission to build personal brands for aspiring recruiters, managers and leaders looking to achieve greater business success.

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