My marketing seems to be working fine. A personal brand seems like overkill – like something LeBron James or Kim Kardashian worries about. Does a regular peep like me really have to think about it?

It’s true, personal branding may have found its start as a way for celebrities and professional athletes to increase their visibility and build lucrative partnerships, but those same grow-your-platform principles now apply to literally everyone — an effective personal brand is simply considered good business.

Building a personal brand goes far beyond showing yourself in the best possible light. It communicates your purpose and mission in a genuine way, and creates a direct path to strengthening your connections, building your business, and controlling how you are seen and understood in a crowded digital world.

A strong network. Community not only gives us a place to belong, it also builds the foundation for strong business and personal networks. Developing deeper relationships with peers and customers allows you to learn and serve them better. And connections beget connections, increasing your resources for talent, job opportunities, and referral base. (78% of hiring managers find the best candidates through referrals, according to JobVite.)

A bigger business. The more effective an employee’s personal brand, the more positive exposure it gives their employer at conferences, events, and online. It’s also the first place prospective employers check before offering jobs and customers before engaging services. Simply put: Without a presence, you may lose business.

Control of your digital footprint. In order to be effective, your story needs to stay consistent and true to who you are. Think about what you want to be known for, both professionally and personally. Considering it’s your story — and your story is going to be told no matter what — doesn’t it make sense for you to do the telling? Be genuine, be YOU.

Authenticity builds trust—and your business.

This is the second part of our four-part series about Personal Branding. More to come!