Personal Branding: What is it? Why Care?
A personal brand says who you are, what you are known for, and what you have to offer. Why should you care about personal branding? Whether you are a professional, a college student, in high school, or seeking employment – your personal brand matters. You own it, you control it, and you should care!
• Are you on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram?
• Do you have an Apple device at home (iPhone, iPad)?
If you answer “Yes” – you are online, which means you already have a Personal Brand.
That means whether you like it or not, the digital footprints you’re leaving across the Internet are your personal brand. Those digital footprints are always there and never go away!
By being aware and proactive, you can manage that brand but by being reactive and unaware, it gets managed for you.
So how can you start managing your personal brand? Let me share some food for thought:
Tip # 1: Be aware of what you share!
• If you post something online, accept the fact that it never goes away
• Even if you’re careful to limit your posts to particular groups, the fact remains that the post is online
• When you apply to a college, the admissions officers will review your social profiles
• Understand that when you apply for a job as a forty year old, what you posted as a teenager could come back to haunt you
Tip # 2: The details matter!
• With personal branding, every little thing matters. Think about your email address. People will need to contact you so select an email address accordingly.
• If you have an unfavorable email address, get a new one to use for college admissions and job applications
• Check your voicemail greeting too!
Tip #3: Create a Positive Online Presence
• Keep your posts and status updates positive.
• Think twice before you share those dislikes with the entire world.
• Social media should not be a venting mechanism.
Tip #4: Be self-aware
• Seek feedback to be more aware they are about how you are representing yourself
• Act on the feedback provided
Tip #5: Deliver Your Brand
• Do the simple things such as following through on promises, returning phone calls, and showing up on time
The main point of developing a personal brand is to differentiate yourself from others. No longer just important for the college graduate looking for their first professional job. The competition for admission to colleges is getting more difficult. Personal branding is a lifelong effort, and high school is the perfect time to start. Personal branding begins with educational experiences (both inside and outside of the classroom), interests, hobbies, skills, and community involvement.
Throughout your educational journey and your career your brand will continue to grow, strengthen, and evolve ….. What is your personal brand?