Let’s Get Personal: Developing Your Personal Brand

Photo by Jillian McClenahan
Photo by Jillian McClenahan

Your personal brand is the surest way to set yourself apart in a world of sameness. It’s a way for you to turn your passion into your career and portray yourself in a unique light. A strong personal brand can even be the defining factor that helps you land your dream job.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when building your personal brand.

Be authentic.
Your personal brand should reflect your personality – don’t be afraid to take risks. Do keep in mind that everything you post online defines your brand. Your audience should know who you are and what you stand for. If the persona you portray online doesn’t match up with who you are in person, it’s time to reevaluate. Your personal brand is a way for you to creatively express who you are. Be original and have fun!

Be consistent.
The look and feel of your personal brand should be consistent in everything you post, as well. This can be as simple as displaying the same profile picture for each of your social networks. Fonts, colors and style are all key elements that your audience will associate with you. Voice is also an important part of consistency. The way you speak is what will truly allow your personality to shine – all you have to do is be yourself.

Define your niche.
Figure out what you want to be known for and talk about it. Your niche can include a hobby, interest or skill, but above all, it should be something you are passionate about. If you’re excited, others will be too.

Make connections.
One of the best ways to receive personal brand recognition is to have others recognize it for you. Interact with influential people that love the same things you do. Engage in conversations during Twitter chats or on the comments section of a blog. Connections are the fuel behind your personal brand, so be sure to show a genuine interest in other people 

What do you find most difficult about creating your personal brand? Share in the comments below.

Jillian McClenahan recently graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in public relations and advertising. In her PRSSA Chapter, she served as creative director, social media director and was an account executive. She is passionate about graphic design, meeting new people, and finding inspiration in the unexpected. Follow Jillian on Twitter @jillianastasia.

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