The anecdotal and analytical data is everywhere. The rise of social media, blogging, search engine optimization, and the way people shop and do research online has changed the fundamentals of the marketplace. The shift has created new opportunities for personal brands with enough hustle to go get what they want. It has also created new lost opportunity costs for those who continue to stick their head in the sand.

Here are some interesting personal branding statistics:

  • 85.3% of buyers go online to research purchases from the Enquiro B2B survey
  • Among Web 2 .0 technologies that companies use for business purposes, social networking ranks second in importance behind Web services, according to a 2008 global survey by The McKinsey Quarterly. Social networks ranked higher than wikis, podcasts, video sharing and RSS. (blogs and social media are now 1 and 2 in recent surveys)
  • Fewer than 45 percent of B2B marketers have begun to use tactics like blogs, Webinars, podcasts and social networking, according to a  2009 study by Forrester.
  • Emarketer predicts that by 2012, U.S. B2B social network ad spending is expected to reach $210 million.
  • According to HubSpot’s 2010  State of Inbound Marketing report Social Media and blogs are the most rapidly expanding category of marketers’ overall budgets and that inbound marketing has a 60% lower cost per lead.
  • Hitwise reported that Facebook reached an important milestone for the week ending March 13, 2010 and surpassed Google in the US to become the most visited website for the week.
  • Social Media Examiner’s recent industry report stated, the number-one benefit of social media marketing is gaining the all-important eyeball. A significant 85% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated exposure for their businesses. Improving traffic was the second major benefit, followed by building new partnerships.
  • According to the CMO Club weekly survey, digital marketing expertise has far surpassed classic marketing experience as the most valuable asset you can bring to a job interview.

The question is how do these statistics reveal opportunity for personal branders?

The trend continues to move in the direction of more online engagement, more online conversation, and more advancement in search. There has never been an easier time to get found online and attract opportunities to you like a magnet. The data continues to indicate that the velocity of these trends will pick up in the years ahead.

It is going to be a really fun ride.