What is Personal Brand?
For those of you just starting out on your first job you may not be aware of what everyone is talking about when they mention “personal brand”, so let’s try to simplify this buzzword. So what is Personal brand: it can be thought of as how you wish to be viewed by others, through your appearance, actions and communications, essentially it is how you will be talked about by others when you not around.
Now, more than ever, your personal brand is critical to how you view yourself and how others see you. In the digital era of on-line media platforms (such as Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook etc), forums, blogs, smart phones and so on it is critical you manage/craft your on-line presence to ensure that it fits with how you wish to be seen by the world, your friends, colleagues and even potential employers. In many cases (particularly for Millennials), individuals will already have some sort of personal branding (good or not so good) out in the world as they would have been using Facebook or YouTube since their teens and, at the time of using, they may not have thought about the future impact of their on-line presence and how it can be searched for or viewed by employers/partners.
Be careful online
I know it’s hard to think about it at the time but please think twice about putting dodgy photos on Facebook or Instagram or even venting on Twitter as this may not be how you wish others to see you. You do not want these on-line experiences to define who you are, so it is important that you have a clear picture of how you want to be perceived by others and that you go about cultivating that in a consistent way across a variety of platforms/media (such as on LinkedIn, your CV, Snapchat, Twitter or even presenting at conferences).
Personal Brand is more than your online presence
As far as how you want to be viewed by others it is important to be genuine and true to yourself. You may be able to create an awesome and engaging on-line persona but relying solely on this outward focusing image of yourself without substance is not the only way to build a sustainable personal brand. You are more than your on-line image – you are a real person with characteristics that make you you, such as integrity and authenticity where both your on-line persona and personal characteristics (how you look, speak and act) mesh to create your personal brand. If you are interested in growing your Personal Brand you can go to another of my posts called: 3 Steps to build your Personal Brand.
What is Personal Brand to you?, remember you are more than your on-line image – you are a real person with characteristics that make you unique.