In an effort to get more information, we go online and search the name of the person who has contacted us. What we find online about you and your organisation influences our decision on the level of communication and support you will likely receive.
The information age is here to stay and it’s really, really important that you don’t negatively impact your opportunity to raise funds for your organisation. Sponsors, Grant Agencies, Philanthropists and Individual Donors are probably researching you right now.
So what are they going to find? Go on a search engine and have a look – if you don’t have a digital footprint you can search my name to see what comes up – I regularly check mine!
What was once important for marketers and businesses is absolutely essential for individuals and the organisations they represent.
The Case of Glenn McGrath..
A lot of people have been very vocal online stating that they wouldn’t donate to the McGrath Foundation after images emerged of Glenn McGrath after a hunting trip in South Africa.
Now you may not have the profile of Glenn McGrath but this situation demonstrates how important personal brands are and the negative impact they can have on organisations and their ability to fundraise if something goes wrong.
So what is a personal brand?
A personal brand is how you differentiate yourself from the crowd. Let me give you an example.
Part of my ‘brand’ is my friendliness; humour and my laugh. I was presenting at a conference just last week and before my session, I was in the lunch line when I heard my name called from behind me and a lady said ‘I thought that was you, I recognised your laugh’.
I have not seen this person since 2011 when we spent 4 days together during a Certificate IV Governance program I was delivering.
So in summary, a personal brand is something that someone would think about when they think about you – it could something tangible like a colour that you wear all the time or something intangible like how you make them feel. It’s about who you are, what you represent and how you make people feel.
Why is a personal brand so important?
I’m paraphrasing here but have you heard this saying by Maya Angelou – ‘People will forget exactly what you said, People will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.’
That’s what we focus on when we talk about developing a personal brand and how that is also reflected online.
How does this relate to an organisational brand?
Developing a personal brand does not take away from your organisations brand. You would still wear the organisations uniform or badge for example as a visual demonstration of who you represent, but you would leave people with an impression of who you are so when they recall you they might say – ‘Oh, she was nice, very friendly’ or ‘Oh, he was the one that told me this funny story’.
1. My first suggestion is to Google your name. What does the search reveal? If you don’t find any results for you, is there someone with the same name appearing?
I once Googled a lady I have known for years looking for her new contact number for a business she had started only to find someone with her name had been committed of infanticide (murdering her child). Now, I knew this wasn’t her but it was a shock – particularly that the story was 2 years old and she hadn’t published her name on anything online to improve the search results.
2. The next step is to go online and start creating ‘touchpoints’. There is a good how to blog on this here: http://www.iconnectyou.com.au/trust-points.html
If you need to do a bit of crisis management as a priority, Glen will also be producing a blog post on how to do that. If you would like an update on when that’s published, be sure to sign up to my newsletter if you aren’t already a subscriber.
3. I could write a blog post series on the stages to take and that could take a few months before we get to the end of the series. So, to help you take action faster what I’ve done instead is provide an e-book written by Price Waterhouse Coopers. Now, it’s aimed at students to help them develop their personal brand as a career path but it takes you through the process step by step so I’d start there.
4. Have a question? Ask away – just email me here: CONTACT
Download Your Personal Branding Ebook Here
As a speaker, trainer and community development consultant I assists non-profits and small businesses to establish better governance practices and operational procedures, identifying new revenue and leveraging existing opportunities, community engagement, brand management and stakeholder communications.