Your personal brand is how people know or perceive you professionally, perhaps before they even meet you. It’s what people say about you when you’re not in the room. I am a tremendous advocate for personal branding, and I believe that it is one of the first things you should begin to develop when thinking about your career.
Here are 3 things to consider when beginning to develop your personal brand:
Take inspiration from how others represent themselves, sure. However, don’t just copy elements from another’s personal branding because they simply won’t be accurate representations of you. How do YOU want to be seen by others? Is the work that you do consistent with the elements of your personal brand? Do you really care if a home construction company likes your work if your dream is to work for a fashion magazine? Find your niche, think about your goals, and move from there.
So, what makes up a personal brand? Is it how you look? Is it your Instagram page? Is it how you write an email? Truth be told, your personal brand is all of these things, and then some.
Here are a few components of a personal brand:
When people can tie you to something and make an impression, that’s part of your personal brand.
Networking is a major part of your personal brand. It’s your personal brand in practice. You should ask yourself, “how do they perceive my brand from just one encounter?” Do you leave an impression that makes them want to go over your resume, check your website or submit your name to human resources as a possible candidate? It is so important that you invest in every single encounter as you never know where your next recommendation or opportunity could come from. Make sure you follow up with your connections and keep them connected to your life. Empower your network with information about you and you will always be in a better position.
What you should know about your personal brand before you begin:
Rachel Meltzer is a senior at the University of Oklahoma studying public relations and arts management & entrepreneurship. She currently serves as the National President for PRSSA, President of the OU Advertising Club and as the Research Director for Lindsey+Asp Agency. She additionally hosts Hi Friends!: The Podcast. Connect with her on LinkedIn.