As a marketing major, I have been told the importance of branding in nearly every major class I have taken, however, I feel many students are unaware about the importance of personal branding. According to a forbes.com, personal branding can be defined as, “All about who you are and what you want to be known for”. This may seem incredibly broad, but it’s an important concept to think about. There is so much going on in the social media world today and it is essential that the content that is put out there about ourselves aligns with forbes.com’s definition.
When thinking about where to start in developing your personal brand, an important first step to think about is what you want to portray about yourself. This will make the next steps easier so you don’t feel that you are “branding yourself” just for the sake of doing it. Think about your passions, goals, and interests and go from there. I found an equation that I thought was quite interesting:
Your self-impression = How people perceive you
I found this useful because your personal brand isn’t something you can make up. It has to be genuine and it has to be something that correlates with the way you think about yourself.
After you have thought about how you want others to perceive you, it is time to put it in words. This may be on your Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram caption, or (most importantly) on your LinkedIn page. This list in not limited to online accounts either; business cards, cover letters, and resumes may be used as well.
After all of the major places you feel your personal brand should be highlighted, are, it is not time to relax quite yet; personal branding consistently takes time, energy, and tweaking to create your final product. It seems to be thought by many that once this is accomplished, that people will start communicating with you. This, too, is false. A personal brand does not ensure that people will communicate with you first, but it does ensure that when you reach out to them, there will be valuable content to read that says a lot about you, possibly before they even know you.
Of Possible Interest:
- 3 Steps to Branding Yourself
- 5 Tips for Branding for Life
- Personal Branding – Knowing Yourself
- Branding Yourself: Using Social Media to Invent and Reinvent Yourself [Book]