In late 2013 to early 2014, I conducted a survey to understand what Millennials think about online personal branding. Millennials are digital natives and know more about social media, apps, and technology than any other generation. I targeted this segment of the population because it is the first generation that must invest in an online personal brand (at least I think so). In addition, Millennials already have an online presence – more than 80% use Facebook - so they will have to make a transition when they become professionals. How are they going to manage all the personal content from their teenage and college years? What about the hundreds of connections they have made? And at some point, they will face maturity.
Most of the respondents feel an online personal brand is ‘somewhat important’ and only 9.60% think it is essential. A large number, 26.93%, think it is ‘not important’. I am not surprised by having such a large number of respondents say online personal branding is ‘not important’. They probably do not know much about it. I used a broad sample canvasing many professional backgrounds and unfortunately most articles and books about personal branding cater to ‘white collar’ professionals.
In the survey, I asked what Millennials thought about having a personal website. The response to the statement ‘I should have a personal website’ was largely split between agreeing and disagreeing. The largest two segments were 32 percent saying ‘Maybe’ and 31 percent saying they ‘Disagree’. Most of the respondents (71 percent) were ‘not sure having a personal website is worth the expense’, while 41 percent thought it was ‘too much self-promotion’. A large chunk of the respondents (65 percent) want a personal website for free and 24 percent would pay $5 to $10 a month. (Millennials are well acquainted to getting their web services and apps for free.)
The complete results of the survey are discussed in the book!