Creating a Personal Brand: Dos and Don'ts
One of the most important things to keep in mind when creating your personal brand is to be true to who you are. Your passion and authenticity will shine through if you highlight and emphasize the things that best represent you.
Your brand is how you choose to express yourself and how others perceive it. So, BE YOUR WHOLE SELF! Do not hide half of who you are because you’re afraid of what others may think of you. No one wants to work with half of someone! Authenticity should be the base of your platform, so be YOU!
When creating and distributing content that is advertising you, make sure it effectively conveys the message you are trying to get across. When it comes to marketing yourself, there are many things you can do in order to effectively convey your message. First, think about the things that you are most proud of. These could be skills, accomplishments, hobbies, and anything that showcases “you” to your target audience.
When I first came to Ohio University last year as a freshman, I knew I needed to make a resume. I remember asking my brother to help me because he was a senior in the business school. I wanted a fun, creative, pink resume and I couldn’t wait to create it. However, when my brother started helping me, he gave me the black and white business school resume template. While that may have been required for him and business majors, I knew a black and white resume was not what I wanted to represent myself. A resume is a big factor in personal branding because it highlights your involvement, skills, education and experience all on one page.
Certain content such as a resume will have to be more professional, where as other content like your personal social media can be used in a less professional manner. Both should be creative and reflect your style.
Creating a personal brand is the first step to effective self-marketing. Your unique experiences make up who you are, and being able to share those experiences through storytelling is how you differentiate yourself from those around you.
So, with that being said, how do you create a personal brand that will best convey you?
The problem many of us have is that we suffer from imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is when we advertise a false persona. We pretend to be someone we aren’t.
There are many reasons people hide from who they are. The quest for perfection and the pressure we put on ourselves are two big reasons we falsely advertise ourselves. We fear rejection, social isolation and many more circumstances we have made up in our heads.
It is time to do something about imposter syndrome! We are all capable of so much and we have to start acting like it. The best way to do that is by taking initiative. Don’t hold back ideas you have for building your brand because innovation only happens when you assess ideas and build upon them. You can take your brand to the next level by applying your diverse thoughts, feelings, opinions, and ideas to curate a unique platform from which you can promote your content.
To build your brand you should highlight your expertise and knowledge in certain subject areas. Everyone is an expert in something. Find the thing that you're passionate about and make it the focal point of your brand. Make people want to pay attention. If you’re passionate about something people will notice that and gravitate to your positivity. Inspire those around you by following your own dreams and taking a stand for the things you believe in. Use your platform to speak up about things you want to see change, and also to praise things you believe are having a positive impact on society.
What you shouldn’t do, is let your voice go unheard and let your platform go unnoticed.
Express yourself through your passions, interests, and hobbies. Ask yourself what best describes your personality and means the most to you. Then, create and promote relevant content.
Get creative! Think about things that you can pour your creativity into such as a website or a blog. All of your content should accurately convey your personality.