Personal branding: the art of being yourself - PART 1: why you need a personal brand

You don't have to be in the marketing field to understand what a brand is. Most probably, you have been a brand all your life and you don't even realize it. Whether you are the cool funny person in your family, the geek in the office, the go-to guy or girl in your click, or the troublemaker in your neighborhood, chances are you have been branded with some label… quite possibly some people have even branded you behind your back with labels I can't point out here...

Those brands were usually just known among our family members, friends, and people who are in our social or professional circles. However, now with our social and professional circles reaching as far as the world can go through our online social networks, you can actually get the chance to present your personal brand the way you want the world to see it.

Keeping the technical terms to a minimum, the key features of a brand are the name, image and personality. Here, I try to give you a few tips on how to make your personal brand -aka yourself- into an art, with a purpose of course because let's admit that as much as Picasso's paintings are a form of art, probably most of the normal population have no idea what the heck is going on in those paintings… But I digress.

In part 1 of my post about Personal Branding, let me point out some of the reasons you need to brand yourself for:

  • A unified online existence. This way it would be easier for people to find you on the various social networks -given that you want to be found!- and be able to recognize you on any channel online from the first glance. It gives you a unique character that is YOU and you won't have people mistaking someone else for you -unless it's someone very rich, good-looking and important in which case you should be flattered :P… Just kidding-.
  • A testimony of expertise and professionalism. Even though you, yourself, are not a company, you are still selling something: You're selling your expertise, your professional services, your work attitude, and all the other traits that get you the job/salary/benefits/business deals you want.  As a job seeker, it is not a secret that recruiters and employers are now digging into your online profiles to make a final decision of whether to hire you or not, and seeing conformity and originality in your online existence will surely give you an edge. As a professional, people who are deciding whether to work with you and trust your opinions and expertise will firmly build their judgment of you from the way you express yourself online and convey your image.
  • A good base for future benefit. You might still be just a college student and think it's way too early to concern yourself with a personal brand, but this is just another reason to start now! Just imagine how much credibility you would gain if you were actually able to successfully create and maintain your own brand. You might think it might never come in use… but hey, what do you have to lose! Everything is basically free. It doesn't really matter what profession you'll end up in, because almost every career in the world requires a distinguished personality.
  • Simply because it's a fun and creative way to express yourself… and that's that!

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I give tips about how to choose your brand name and avatar/logo.

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