What is personal branding and how can it benefit your hotel or restaurant?
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is the method of marketing an individual as a brand. It is the ongoing practice of developing, sustaining, and leveraging the reputation and perception of that individual.
What can personal branding do for me?
It is common as a business owner, or stakeholder, to overlook the value of your own personal brand. But, if you want to cut through the noise, shape the future of the hospitality industry, and earn recognition as a thought-leader amongst your peers, there is no better time to consider your own personal branding.
Building a rapport – When your personal brand messaging demonstrates the passion you have for your business, you will quickly build a rapport with an audience aligned to your values. And as your audience builds awareness of your expertise hospitality, you will quickly foster trust as a reliable source of recommendation.
Perception – As your personal brand develops, prospective clients will recognise the credibility you and your business have established. The use of pertinent thought-leadership content can establish you as an industry leader – opening doors to press/media and event speaking opportunities.
How do I start building my personal brand?
So, how do you get started building your personal brand? The following tips can help you realise that goal.
Tap into your passion – The hospitality industry is a diverse industry with so many niche areas. To build a cutting-edge personal brand, first look to your core skillset. Is there a particular aspect of the hospitality industry where you have a wealth of expertise/personal passion?
Build a captivating personal brand online – Be persistent (and consistent!) about what you share on social media. When harnessed well, the power of platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter can rapidly scale your personal brand and get you noticed by those with similar interest.
Think about the content you post and if it is relevant for the specific platform – Instagram provides a rich visual experience, LinkedIn offers a platform for long form though-leadership articles, and Twitter is used for short form bursts of content multiple times a day – as a result, the users are quite different between social platforms. Pick the platform that best represents your strengths and the type of content you want to create.
Here are a few considerations that will help amplify your message.
- Tell your story – storytelling is an excellent way to build your personal brand
- Share behind-the-scenes content of value. What is it really like to work/experience life at your hospitality venue
- Share your point of view on industry hot topics
- Follow influential industry publications and individuals. Share relevant content that will help build your credibility and tag them. Start conversations within their network and your own.
- Share your skillset – offer to write guest content for industry publications and websites.
- Offer to join panels or provide interviews on industry podcasts.
- Create content around colleagues or clients
Who is doing an excellent job with their personal brand?
There are some notable examples of people doing a great job with their personal brands in the hospitality industry. From celebrity level to micro-influencers on social media. Two strong hospitality brands include:
Gordon Ramsay – British chef, restaurateur, writer, and television personality. His restaurants have been awarded 16 Michelin stars in total. By 2004, Ramsay had become one of the most renowned and influential chefs in the world, scaling his personal branding with twelve TV shows and a social media following of 13.5m on Instagram and 7.5 million on Twitter. He regularly shares content from the kitchens of his restaurants as well as more personal posts from his day-to-day family life.
Emma Banks – Vice President, F&B strategy and development EMEA at Hilton. Emma is a confident professional but also personable in interviews and content she shares on LinkedIn – her favoured platform. Emma is a driving force in supporting woman in hospitality in particular, young female hoteliers starting out in their careers.
Rafat Ali – Founder and CEO of Skift, the largest media platform in the tourism industry. Rafat shares industry insights from the hospitality industry on both Twitter and LinkedIn, so he has created a great reason for his followers to join him on both platforms. Rafat is known well for his thoughts on breaking industry news and statistic rich infographics to support his posts.
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Great article – the notion of owning and growing a personal brand is definitely catching on in the UK