3 Steps to Branding Yourself

By: Abby

Branding is so important. What do you think of when you hear the phrase “Just Do It?” If it’s not Nike, I don’t know where you have been for the last decade. Nike has done a great job of branding themselves. We all have to do the same!

What do people think about when they think of you?

“Oh Tom? Oh he is that insane party-animal that is always cracking jokes in class.” OR

“Oh Bill? Oh he is that incredibly driven Business major specializing in analytics that is about to graduate.”

Which would you prefer? I hope we are both on the same page here…

Branding is all about you. It says:

  1. Who you are
  2. What you offer
  3. Where you’re going

Branding is what people know about you before they know you. It is also the key to getting a job in today’s market.

I am here to help start your branding journey. I am in no means an expert, but the trick is, you don’t have to be! We can all brand ourselves. It just starts with these first three easy steps.

  1. Your brand points
  2. Your brand story
  3. Be consistent

Brand points

Your brand points are the keywords that people associate with you. For Bill, it would be:

“Oh Bill? Oh he is that incredibly driven Business major specializing in analytics that is about to graduate.”

Bill’s brand points are: business, analytics, and driven.

Now we are going to find yours.

To find these points, let’s take out a piece of paper. For the next two minutes, write down as many words as you can think of that you want people to associate with you, or that you associate with yourself.

Next, you will find that some of these words have a similar theme… Start grouping together these words. For example, Bill might have thought of these words in his two-minute brain storm:

Motivated, business, management, leader, driven, A-student, analytics, analysis, research

Then he grouped the words together:

  • Motivated, leader, driven, A-student
  • Business, management
  • Analytics, analysis, research

Then he came up with his three points: business, analytics, and driven.

It is as easy as that!

Brand Story

Your brand story communicates the three questions I noted earlier: who you are, what you offer, and where you are going. It is an extended version of your brand points. But… It is a story! It is supposed to be entertaining. You need to connect with the audience in your brand story. Make it relatable. You could ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What are some of the problems that occurred during your life?
  • What were some obstacles that tried to prevent you from being where you are now?
  • What made you decide to take this career path or major?

The extended brand story shouldn’t be more than three pages. From there, you can shrink it down to a shortened brand story. That could be used for your LinkedIn summary. From the shortened brand story, you can shrink it even further to create your elevator speech.

The possibilities are endless. And next time someone asks you, “tell me about yourself,” you will have something to say beyond the facts.

Be Consistent

The next step is to spread the message. Go through all of your social media platforms and check to see if your brand points and brand story are being communicated. Next time you want to send a tweet, check to make sure it fits within one of your brand points. Does your blog’s “About Me” page talk about your brand story? You need to make sure that no matter where a person finds you; they will get the same visual as everyone else.

This counts in real life as well. Make sure people see the real you.

 

Branding is a long process. It is something that cannot be captured in one blog post. I have highlighted the absolute basics of branding to get you started. If you are interested in this further, I recommend the book by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy titled Branding Yourself. I wish the best to you and everyone out there with their branding experience. You never know where it will get you!

Read Abby’s other posts.

6 thoughts on “3 Steps to Branding Yourself

  1. Wow! I learned some things about “branding” and I’ve been using it for sometime, now. Thanks for shedding more light on a much talked about subject. – Janet 🙂

  2. […] Develop your brand! From online to offline, it’s important to put yourself out there in the professional world. Whether it’s now or later, branding will always prove to be an essential component in career success. Branding is important because it’s the image that you are portraying to others to see. Check out a past blog post from Abby, one of our alums, on 3 easy steps in starting your brand process. […]

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