Creating Your Personal Brand

Become your own super hero

Become your own super hero

Developing your personal brand is a topic that has navigated its way in Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and International Association Business Communicator(IABC) chapter meetings. In a recent article, posted by PRSA your brand is how you appear to the world. This seems easy enough to understand, yet when we attempt to build our brands we are lost. I assume, it is because we haven’t found what we are passionate about and do not have knowledge of the target market.

matt-clayman-193x300While attending the April IABC meeting, guest speaker Matt Clayman, Director of Client Partnerships at Innovation Protocol stated , “a personal brand needs to be able to have legs and speak to a specific market.”

In my observations on twitter feeds, I began to notice that the industry thought leaders had done a great job of branding themselves. Each of the people who had success, took a topic and commented on posts, engaged in twitter feeds and curated analysis and opinions of their own. For example, @angelgonzlz, he is a fashionista and you feel that brand in everything he posts.

Angel Gonzales, iss a Hollywood stylist/fashionista. His focus on posts and engagement have to do with style and fashion. Frequently he will comment on how celebrities are dressed or what makes for a great on camera look. He takes it a step further and documents his work life as he styles celebrities and news anchors. This strategy has created a brand for himself.

The idea is to take what you love, are good at and develop a brand around it. The brand doesn’t have to be your employers brand, its all about you. If you love technology, then become that tech expert who is commenting about tech devices and what is hot in trends. In the process, according to Lauren Marinigh you will have social consistency and will be looked and it will help you become an expert.

Personally, I think this is the ticket to ensuring you stay relevant and marketable in your career. If you know your category well, and can engage an audience any company would be fortune to employee you. Here is a helpful worksheet to guide you along. Those of you who remember completing the Galup strengths and weakness, and the CISCO personality test can use those attributes to guide your branding process. Not a bad summer project if you ask me.

As the school year ends, let’s all take some time and do our own homework on how to develop your personal brand? Mine would be all about travel, destinations, and hotels—what would yours be? I would love to see what type of experts we have at here at USC.

Fight On!

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8 Responses to Creating Your Personal Brand

  1. Allison says:

    Great post Lou, up until recently my focus has been on developing employer brands as it goes hand-in-hand with my specialty of internal communications. Your post made me think about how I have been trying to find time to update my linkedin and start posting blogs online. Up until the point I started searching for a new position last year, I didn’t really think about my personal brand, just my network. But when I decided to look for positions out of state, that network became less valuable than my personal brand online. So my brand, to answer your question, will become more employee communications expert focused than industry as I have been in the education, insurance and health care industries. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lourdes says:

      Allison- thank you for your thoughtful response. I love learning about your specialty in employee communications. You are in fact on the right path. Your expertise lies within insights of employee communication, that most of your peers don’t not possess. I would suggest for you to attempt to secure a unique handle on twitter that represents your expertise. I have seen things such as fablizy, a personal brand speaking about everything fabulous especially new cosmetic brands. Begin to listen to how people use humor to refer to you and that can also spark an idea. Then build out a simple blog and begin building your brand. Have fun on your summer assignment.

  2. Jessica says:

    Lourdes! Thanks for writing on this very timely topic! Personally speaking, I am becoming an expert at branding other people’s products, services, and even personalities, but when it comes to myself it has been a different story.

    Self-branding, especially in the digital world we live in is something everyone needs to think about. I will admit that I have been uncomfortable doing this. When does it cross that icky line to self-promotion? Growing up, my parents raised us to always be modest. This has served me well in some scenarios, but it has also made it more of a challenge to self brand. I am going to complete the worksheet you provided over break. Thanks so much for sharing! Fight on!

  3. Frank says:

    Lorena this is a new concept to many. Particularly with people who are trained to think of their company or organizational mission and vision. That is exactly the reason why many seem to get lost in the corporate culture, and the worst thing is losing their own talents, whether it’s music or art. It’s also a way of developing a totally different identity away from the workplace. I have a friend who is a manager with a large corporation in town, and I remember a few years ago he mentioned when he was younger he played saxophone in different bands. The whole social media thing grew and now he is not known for his industry expertise which he is genius in, but rather as a musician who is in high demand on weekends in different cities. He said “when I was younger I forgot how much I love playing, and now with time it came back and grew bigger than I ever imagined, who knew?” Great post Lorena.

  4. Amanda Anderson says:

    Hi Lourdes, thanks for sharing this! Like others have mentioned, I worked to build the brand of my employer, but have never really thought much about what my personal brand is. More so, I feel almost as though my profession (I’m a Marine) has become my brand however, there is a better way to frame this as my personal brand vice what I do. For example, I looked at the branding worksheet you shared and I obviously share many values and passions with my organization, but I can reframe these to demonstrate my values and not just reflect my organizational values. This is an interesting topic for all, but I find it particularly interesting for those who are in the military because we tend to become the organization. This is helpful to keep in mind when we transition from the military to the civilian sector to remember to brand ourselves instead of just relying on the organizational branding. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Linda says:

    Hi Lourdes, Great post and a great reminder to the group. I used to use Twitter wayyy back in the day but got rid of it some time ago. I was inspired, while reading “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,” to get more active on Twitter again but in the craziness of the semester, I never actually did it. With the semester closing out, your post couldn’t be more timely for me. As marketers, I agree that we must be mindful of building our personal brands and social media is a great way to do it. Thanks!

  6. schmulev says:

    Hi Lourdes, I think this topic is very important. With cover letters slowly fading away, we need to be able to communicate our personal brand and our passion (hopefully intertwined) to future employers, coworkers, etc.. I think it is becoming increasingly important for us to be consistent on all platforms with how we represent ourselves or our brand because it is not just how we act in person, but also how we are perceived on social, linkedin, our website, etc..

  7. Jane Yi says:

    Lourdes, thank you for your post! Since I will be graduating this May, this post really resonated with me. After drafting countless number of cover letters and resumes, I find that each time I come to realize that I need more focus. I almost feel as if I’m convincing myself that I want the position that I’m applying to, when it should be the other way around – convincing the companies/hiring managers that I write to. I will most definitely be using the worksheet to help me with my job search and best of luck to all of your future endeavors as well! Fight on!