The ROI of Investing in Your Personal Brand
Can you put a price on developing more significant connections, relationships, and awareness of who you are and what you do in business?
The financial return on investment in personal branding is a difficult calculation to make. Many individuals underestimate the power of personal branding since there isn’t always a visible revenue or sales return.
There is no ‘personal brand ROI formula’. This doesn’t mean it can’t be measured, just that it’s not easy.
Thinking of pure monetary value is short-sighted when it comes to personal brands and this is critical – it’s a perspective shift. If you only look towards a monetary return, you won’t persevere in developing your brand enough to see a monetary return.
Sounds contradictory, but it’s a long-term investment and other signals are a better measure of ROI in the short term. Starting on a personal branding journey will take you somewhere between 10 and 18 months to see genuine monetary ROI.
Money, money, money
A monetary return is quite easy to measure from your personal brand:
Question: “How did you hear about me?”
Answer: “I saw your post on LinkedIn.”
By asking anyone who approaches you or is referred to you how they heard about you, you’ll get an answer that enables you to measure what it is you are doing that generates results. Record this and then when you make a sale, you can refer to what generated the revenue. Easy!
The problem here is that it takes a lot of time for this to happen. You need to start asking the question immediately, but don’t get disheartened if you don’t see answers that indicate your investment in personal brand development as the source of the enquiry.
For ease, let’s use LinkedIn as the base for our measures, but you could apply this to any channel you are using as part of your personal brand’s development.
Your LinkedIn network is generally made up of people who you know, have worked with, or with who you have connected with to contact them. The total number is not necessarily a reflection of the network you want to create, so here’s what to do:
- Visit https://www.linkedin.com/mynetwork/ and click 'connections', then use the filters to get an accurate measure of the kind of network you want to grow.
- Think about the industry, job titles, and locations - now you have your own baseline network you'll look to grow.
This could be ‘HR directors in IT, in London’.
Benchmark this number now and then measure it monthly using the same filters to see how your personal brand is helping to grow your ideal network.
Connections and followers are metrics that are easy to measure, but is anyone engaging with your content? Engaging with your content is engagement with your personal brand.
The more you invest in your personal brand, the more engagement you want to see. But also couple this with our first metric – i.e. who is engaging? 100 people saying “great post Dave” is more likely coming from an engagement pod than a genuine interest in what you are saying.
This doesn’t need to be an elaborate spreadsheet of everything you post. Just take time each month to reflect on what content got the most engagement, and whether or not this engagement was from people you consider to be your target audience.
A comment from a HR Director at Citrix, based in London? That’s a win.
Make a note of all positive conversations you have had each month on the platform(s) you’re using to promote and develop your personal brand. Inbound (where someone reaches out to you) is the gold standard, but a positive response to an outbound (where you reach out) message is also worth noting.
Over time, your personal brand should aim to attract more inbound messages but also to improve the chances of getting replies to your outbound messages. People who know of you are more likely to reply.
As mentioned earlier, you need to build and develop a personal brand over the long term before monetary ROI is realised. If you are asking people how they heard about you, and measuring the conversations you are having each month, you are then in a position to see the money when it arrives.
A deal done from a conversation started from a message on LinkedIn? ROI.
Measuring your network, engagement and conversations along the way should keep you motivated that your efforts are creating momentum.
The intangible benefits of personal branding are vast, and we’ve only scratched the surface. Personal branding is an ongoing journey that requires time and commitment.
But the rewards are worth it.
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Personal branding to a recruiter is what LinkedIn is to Paiger – one simply wouldn’t be the same without the other. Paiger enables recruiters not only to automatically post jobs, but also to schedule social posts and curate content relevant to your audience.
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