Have you ever heard the term branding yourself? And no it’s not the harmful hr metal kind. Branding yourself occurs when you take your unique qualities or characteristics that make you stand out and using them to your advantage. It’s making yourself known of who you are, what you can do, and what you believe in. Branding yourself is important; examples of personal branding would be Will Smith, Oprah, Kanye West and Lady Gaga. None of these people were born into fame. They made a name for themselves and now they are worth millions. According to aicpa.org, you can successfully brand yourself if you follow the 5 rules.
1. Define your brand- You are your own person, so define yourself. Use your personal beliefs and attitudes to find your message that you believe in and make it known. Find out who you are and what makes up your brand. Become an expert in your area of interest. If you’re a baker, bake the best pastries anyone’s tastebuds have ever touched.
2. Make your presence known- Social media sites and Google and the ways people are going to find out more about you. So make sure it’s what you want people to know and see about you. You can start a blog, make a LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
3. Network- Use these tools of social media to help show people who you are and what you’re about. Networking through social media is more efficient and global. You can meet anyone and everybody at the same time without even leaving your city.
4. Clarity, Consistency, Constancy- This is all about you. Be clear on who you are and what you stand for. Be consistent with your stances and your words. Don’t change, be everything you claim to be.
5. Feedback- Get feedback from your friends and family to make sure you are branding yourself in a positive way. See the way they talk about you and how they introduce you to others because that is how they think about you.
Now, why do we brand ourselves? Let’s be honest we can be anyone we want to be. People only know what you show them or tell them. So branding yourself is important. It’s your chance to show people who you are and what you believe in. Branding yourself helps you stand out from the crowd. It helps you gain trust and credibility from others when they see you following the 5 rules of branding. It’ll help you in the long run. Be like Oprah or Will Smith! They did it and so can you. MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN!
The problem can be the line between where your post stays acceptable and where it strays to become inappropriate. When it’s your own social media it can be hard to determine if you’re going too far or not. Sometimes the best way to go is to ask one of your parents, an aunt/uncle, or an old teacher to view your profile and give their opinion. If you don’t feel comfortable to show it to any of them… chances are you have your answer right there. Let’s say that you are unable to ask any of those people, maybe you went across the country or you left the state for college. It’s easy to do a self-check too! Here are some general questions that can be applied to any post to show yourself if this picture is a good thing to add on to your social media, or if you should just keep it in your personal gallery and group messages.
- Is this a post I would show to my parents or my past teachers?
- Does this post reflect the person I want to be in the workforce?
- Would I hire someone who posted a picture like this?
- What does this photo say about who I am as a young adult?
Making sure that you are examining yourself on a professional level is crucial and it speaks volumes to employers who might be scanning your different platforms. Maybe you haven’t been doing this before, but it’s never too late to start! You can start today! Right this very second! Take a quick peek at your Instagram platform and apply the previous questions to your page as a whole. It may seem more tedious but it really only takes a few seconds to run through all those questions. The truth is, your brain can actually process 1200 words a minute! Simple steps like these can be the deciding factor between your dream job and work somewhere just because you need money. Take initiative of the way you are projecting yourself through social media; take control of your future!
It can be confusing determining what to post online, especially after abiding by all these guidelines of what you should avoid. However, some recruiters, such as Hailey Luis from Northwestern Mutual, encourage people to post about themselves and the lives we portray. Here are some of the features Hailey enjoys viewing on your social media:
- Express how outgoing you are - whether it be posting about your trips to Europe or Hiking in Peru, this shows your adventurous self outside of your professional work
- Demonstrate your social skills by how you network with others - depending on who you have as friends in your social media feeds, this shows how well you manage to communicate with others
- Participate in events whether they are related to your professional endeavors or not - this shows that you are committed to your organization or company and how much support you have to offer
- Show how family or friend oriented you are - just by posting photos of your family and friends during holidays and trips demonstrates where your priorities are set and how you maintain a well balanced between your personal relationships with others
Overall, be as genuine as you are because what you post is what you want others to portray you as. So from the information, we provided and the tips we shared, what is your brand? Be the brand you want to be.