Buzzword: Personal Branding

Lately, “personal branding” has been touted as the most important thing that a person can do to secure a job and be well respected.

Branding has been used as a marketing tool for years, but now personal branding is coming to the forefront as a necessity to anyone on social media.

Everyone has a personal brand, whether they realize it or not. Every interaction and post on social media immediately contributes to your brand—or what people see as your digital footprint.

There are two options, you can define your own brand or you can let others define it for you. The former is more preferable because of the control you have over it. So, it is important to make sure that all your social media has a consistent message and displays your skills.

Forbes puts it simply, “What do you wish for people to associate with you
when they think of your name?”

The article also spoke to the importance of strategy in building your brand: “Every tweet you send, every status update you make, every picture you share, contributes to your personal brand. It is an amalgamation of multiple daily actions. Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand.”

Strong personal brands are innovative, purposeful and strong, or as Forbes says, “a strong personal brand is dependent on a strong narrative.” Everything you say about yourself reflects on your brand, so you should be saying positive things that build up your narrative.

More than ever, public relations professionals need to build not only their clients’ brands, but also their own; to be more credible, hirable and resourceful, a personal brand can lend help, especially to new grads.

What are the best ways to start building your brand?

Well, start with transparency of both the good and the bad in your life. If you are not building your brand, others are doing for you whether you like it or not.

Your digital footprint is forever, so think before you post because one small mistake can haunt you for the rest of your life.

Tim Massie, current ‎Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations at HealthQuest, gave students four steps to self-promoting when he spoke at a workshop as part of Marist College’s Emerging Leader’s Program.

1. Define your objective:

  • You want all your actions to demonstrate ability and passion
  • Ask yourself, what defines you as a person? What sets you apart?

2. Discover your current brand:

  • How do the people around you describe you?
  • You need to promote and influence the perception of your brand.

3. Define your message:

  • What do you want to be?
  • You have your current brand and your target brand, what will cause a change to reach your objective?

4. Choose your tools:

  • Each social media tool has its own value.
  • Massie suggested that on Facebook you should determine the purpose of your page, and Twitter is a place to start conversations—not air your dirty laundry

But Massie cautioned that nothing can help your brand more than face-to-face communication and networking in person. The bottom line? Personal branding sets you apart from all the other candidates out there. If you can create a strong brand, you will have the ability to influence opinions and be a credible source to others.

Follow Massie on Twitter for insightful information @tcmassie

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