Personal branding is a course that most employers tend to skip over when planning a company-wide/team-wide upskill. Normally, soft skills, software skills and industry-specific skills take centre stage.
But personal branding has a place in an employee's learning path, not just for them, but for the company as a whole.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is how you are perceived online that is shaped by a person's dedicated and ongoing approach to curating, posting, and engaging with content.
This can be in a professional (work oriented) or personal (lifestyle) manner depending on what you'd like to focus on / build your brand as.
But usually, professional, work oriented personal branding is what a company will focus on, and it's what myskillcamp recently created for our employees.
Adding personal branding to the company culture
More than encouraging employees to take personal branding as a course, it's key to assimilate the practise into company culture. The reason behind this may be unclear right now, but there are great reasons for it...
- Increase interaction
Encouraging employees to increase interactions with social media, you increase the chances they'll engage with your company's updates and with each other. This increases reach organically while simultaneously showing a better work environment - perfect for curious potential clients and recruitment efforts.
- Ongoing learning
Growing a professional brand encourages people to keep updated with new business and industry practises (either because they want to be one of the first to post updates or because they will follow people who post updates quickly) meaning employees will be proactive in learning and bettering themselves. This means they will be consistently upskilling themselves and using those skills in your company.
- Social Selling
Certain departments such as sales and marketing can use personal branding to kickstart social selling. Social selling is the process of creating relationships via social media with potential clients as part of the customer journey. It's a great way to build trust in the people and product before any real company involvement begins. By building a personal brand people are far more likely to interact with you and the interaction won't feel like a 'pushy sales tactic'.
- Increased reach
With employees mentioning your company (or even being affiliated with your company) while building their personal brand, it subconsciously puts your company name into the minds of people you otherwise wouldn't have reached.
- Shows an interest
With helping your employees learn any skill, it shows that you company is taking an active interest in your employees' careers. Making sure your employees are highly employable and ensuring their continued growth is a great way to keep your employees by your side.
How to make personal branding attractive
With any skill you want your employees to start learning, getting them to actually TAKE the darn course is the hardest part. The best thing to do is ensure this is something your employees would like, and then make the course as attractive as you can.
- Ask for opinions
This is what myskillcamp did first. We looked into whether our employees were interested in social media, building a brand, or social selling. In all honesty... if it came back negatively, we wouldn't have proceeded with the next steps - but it came back that our employees were interested in social media and the course idea as a whole.
- Make it optional
We wanted to ensure that the course was something employees could do, not something they must do. That way it's positioned as a treat rather than a chore. Of course, this doesn't work for all courses you want your employees to take, but for personal branding, it's well-suited to those who are motivated to take the course rather than everyone in the company.
- Show the success
When employees start posting more, and using personal branding techniques they will see an automatic improvement in their engagement rates. This is perfect to amplify. Encourage people to share examples of their successes and share them with other employees internally. Creating a sense of accomplishment to those who had the success, and inspiration (or even competition) among others.
It's not just about communicating the course, it's about the course itself. Myskillcamp split the personal branding course into smaller segments such as a 'LinkedIn starter pack', workshops, webinars, and a larger branding course.
- Guest speakers
Learning from the company is one thing, but learning from actual personal branding experts and thought leaders brings a level of validity to the course. After all, that's why myskillcamp has a large selection of training providers for all the courses we offer. Bring in experts to talk about the topic and have them interact with those who are taking the course, perhaps assessing their current efforts and giving further advice.
Cementing branding into the company
As stated before, myskillcamp is encompassing personal branding courses into the larger company culture. The final (or should we say the first) way we're doing this is including it in the onboarding training we start all new hires on. Our onboarding isn't just about software or the myskillcamp platform, it's also about the goals, missions and beliefs of our company.
With all the steps you must take to make a course successful can seem like a road of stumbling blocks. This is why myskillcamp has a platform that not only helps you build courses and learning paths simply, but offers you thousands of professionally built courses for quick and easy implementation. Coupled with our analytics and customer success team, we ensure any course you want your employees to take is well introduced, explained and set-up.
If you want to see what we can do for you, then reach out for a platform demo, or a personalised trial.