The personal branding trend in the business world, especially in communications fields has become something of a novelty, you have got to have it or you won’t get your dream job. That’s how it works nowadays…if you appear like all of your peers, how are YOU going to get the job over them without a personal touch. I read two articles the first, “How Does Your Personal Brand Sound?” from author Nance Rosen, and the second, “Personal Branding 101: How to Discover and Create Your Brand”, from Dan Schawbel. Both give similar perspectives on personal branding, but each author offers some personal insight.
In her article. Rosen paints a picture that for many female readers is an all too familiar one: you are at the beauty counter and the saleswoman is all too helpful, but you can’t seem to pinpoint what really bothers you about her. Then it hits you, her voice, that’s it – that’s part of her personal brand that you want to escape, but can’t.
Rosen tells the story of her Sephora visit, and then goes on to explain how the way you express yourself to someone shows a lot about your personal brand. Appearance is at least 50 percent of personal branding. If your appearance doesn’t match up to what you’re trying to sell, promote, or represent then people won’t take you seriously.
Don’t do this. Avoid the temptation to be the typical college student:
In this case, the young saleswoman struggled to make the verbal portion of her personal branding match up to what she was trying to accomplish. Rosen says the definition of your personal brand rests on how seriously you take the matter of sights and sounds. “Your personal brand is defined not just by the values and qualities that create meaning in our lives. Your personal brand is not just your Facebook posts or your blog. Your personal brand is not just what you’ve Pinterested or thrown onto Google+ for us to digest. Your personal brand is all of you.” Just like you wouldn’t turn in a project, paper, or work assignment half finished, your personal brand cannot be taken seriously when it’s only partially developed.
The second article by Dan Schawbel discusses the importance of having a well-defined personal brand. Instead of focusing on the in-person side of personal branding, Schawbel discusses the accessibility that social media has created for people trying to master their personal brand.
Schwabel details quite a few tips to successfully create and maintain your brand all along the way describing pitfalls that people often run in to. His first tip, I feel, is the most important – discover your brand. Just like this weekly blogging assignment is required, discovering your personal brand is required in order to be successful. Schwabel says that “the single biggest mistake people make is that they either brand themselves just for the sake of doing it or that they fail to invest time learning about what’s in their best interests.” I think that much of the reason behind why people go into certain fields of business comes from the monetary gratification. That becomes a pitfall for some when it comes to developing a personal brand. How we perceive ourselves is how other people will perceive us. If you aren’t one-hundred percent behind your future aspirations, then it is impossible to invest your time into something you don’t fully believe in.
Later on in his article, Schwabel describes various ways to create your brand, placing heavy emphasis on social media. The social media trend made the personal branding trend possible. Personal branding would be very hard to do and hard to do well without the access to social media. It is a lot easier to tweet things that show you off as a professional than to go around and knock on people’s doors and convince them of your beliefs. Social media allows for hundreds of people to see your personal brand without having to leave the comfort of their own home.
Both of these articles offered great insight into why personal branding has blown up since the dawn of the social media frenzy. Rosen and Schwabel do a wonderful job of showing how important it is to develop, maintain, and master your own brand because without it success is hard to come by. As college students, this is the most vital time in our lives in terms of personal branding. Our development and appearance in our college years is the first brand that will carry over into that first interview. That first interview could be our dream job, that’s why it is so important to constantly be working towards a more fully developed personal brand.