The concept of branding has traditionally been about the corporate image. But personal branding became a recognizable concept among celebrities as well. The personal brand of an actor can help determine the kind of roles they’re offered, and the branding of musical acts affects the kind of listeners they attract. Even sports figures are careful about their personal branding, as their image can help them get sponsorship deals with sportswear companies.
You should think about your branding as well because the image you project can affect your life in many ways. The way you present yourself can help you gain new friends and romantic prospects, and you can also help convince employers to hire you and to promote you within the company. Your branding involves buffing up your professional image, and you get to upgrade your branding online.
The Personal Branding Process
This may seem a bit too vain, but it’s a realistic approach. Googling yourself gives you an idea of how your profile looks like online. Don’t forget, your employers will also use Google to find out more about you, and many prospective dates will do the same.
Taking a look at the links Google offers about you gives you an idea of what your personal brand is like currently. It shows you the good things and the factors that you may want to change or improve. It’s like a medical checkup before you can start medical treatment—you have to know how healthy you really are first.
Clean Up After Yourself
Now you need to apply a very critical eye to all your social media posts. Which of them puts you in a bad light? Pictures and videos of a drunken night out in college may look silly and fun for your friends, but these won’t impress your prospective employers at all.
The same goes for any tweets or blog posts that may prove controversial. Anything can be considered “offensive” these days, and what you may think of as satirical or ironic statements may be misconstrued by being taken literally. If you put yourself firmly in one camp of a divisive topic, then you risk alienating half of your prospective employers or clients.
So you may want to go with some judicious editing and even deleting of some tweets, articles, blog posts, pictures, and videos. If you’re trying to go for a more professional image, pictures of you drunk and asleep in the campus park may not look all that good.
Establish Your Credibility and Expertise
Once you’re done removing the bad stuff, it’s time for you to add some good stuff. You may want to have a website of your own, or at least you can make your social media personal pages look more professional. Offer articles, blog posts, and videos that demonstrate your expertise in various subjects.
You can do this too in other forums and websites like Quora. So if a prospective employer checks you out online and sees you offering excellent answers to questions regarding your industry, your personal branding gets an upgrade.
Rinse and Repeat
Don’t think that when you have a website, you’re done with your personal branding. It’s a never-ending process! Even when you have a job, your online personal branding can land you better opportunities elsewhere, or it can make you look like a more attractive candidate for promotions and raises.