All Articles Tagged "personal branding"
It’s the photo album on Facebook with 500 photos of your high school classmate’s bourgeois wedding. Or the album full of every purchase an old friend has made from Christian Louboutin. Or the endless statuses about all of the promotions your cousin has gotten at the dream job she just landed, how many celebrities she’s met since moving to New York, and how her life could easily be fodder for SATC 3. Twenty years ago, maybe even 10 years ago, all of this would be considered obnoxious bragging. Now, in a society where anyone can invent himself or herself to be anything with a few online social media profiles and a camera, what was formerly known as bragging is sometimes called personal branding or self-marketing. Have we made bragging obsolete, especially since today’s corporate world basically requires that you show, prove, and toot your own horn a little ( ok, a lot) more than generations past ever had or wanted to?
When I was younger, my mom went to great lengths to make sure that my siblings and I didn’t brag. If a friend from school went with us on a shopping trip, we were not to buy anything if the friend couldn’t buy anything. When we accomplished something at school, no matter how big it may have been or how excited we were about it, we were required to be humble, only telling a select few close family members. Bragging in my household was heavily reviled, as is the case in many traditional Southern families. Such disregard for other’s perceived feelings was a slap in the face to an upbringing that emphasized staying in good social graces.
Like my parents, I still honor the values of humility and consideration of others, and I try to infuse that into my own method of self-branding. Finding a balance between the necessary self-promotion for professional purposes and thoughtfulness of your followers, friends, and contacts is the key to creating a successful personal brand that draws people to you while driving you toward your goals. Letting your pride get the best of you online can cost you valuable connections, wreck the brand that you have worked hard to build and, as in the case of journalist Khristopher Brooks, lead you to lose the opportunities that are the whole point of investing so much into a personal brand.
Even though what we now know as personal branding or self-promotion has been around for decades through “quieter” means, such as résumés and curriculum vitaes, many young, new professionals and job seekers do not completely understand what personal branding is, especially when it comes to social media. Before social media can even come into the picture, you’ve got to know what your brand is about, and that might take some soul searching. Job search coach Meg Guiseppi created a great 10-point guide to help you in this process. Knowing what goals and values are important to you will help you to create a personal brand that you can be passionate about.
After you’ve done the hard work of discovering exactly what your brand is, use social media to enforce what you stand for and demonstrate what you have to offer. Whatever you do, be consistent. Social media expert Lauren Huston makes the point on her blog that when the values that brands claim to have conflict with what that brand does on a day to day basis, trust is lost and high numbers of followers and fans are not as impressive. It’s ok to have a status here or a tweet there about accomplishments that demonstrate your success in your field, but if your personal brand touts the value of authenticity and you’re constantly on Facebook dropping names of major clients without out mixing up your statuses to include some bits of knowledge that can help your audience, you’ll seem more pretentious, less authentic, and yes, even a little obnoxious.
A great personal brand is personable and human, yet professional and helpful at the same time. Keep this in mind while composing your next 140 characters, and you just might get a direct message that’s the opportunity you’ve been dreaming of.
Follow Nichole on Twitter at @ReasonsAndRoses or on her blog, ReasonsAndRoses.com.
More on Madame Noire Business!
- Behind the Click: Asmau Ahmed, Founder of PlumPerfect.com
- How She Made It: Alia Jones-Harvey, Producer of A Streetcar Named Desire
- The Career Freshman Part II: Getting To The Next Level in Your Career
- Crisis Management Lessons: Handle Scandal Like Your Name Is Kerry Washington
- How She Made It: Jeri Lynne Johnson, Founder of Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
- Entrepreneur Spotlight: A Sister-Run Business Brings High-End Tea Stateside
by Alexander Cain
Nike, Ralph Lauren, and Apple; these are all brands we are obsessed with on a daily basis and associate with high quality and prestige. All these brands have invested millions of dollars and manpower in order to maintain their status and continue the legacy of their brands. While we face an influx of advertising, there is a brand we are heavily vested in that doesn’t get the attention it deserves: ourselves. Whether we are hanging out at social events or working day-to-day at our jobs, everyday we are building our brand for better or for worse. For those running their own business, the personal brand becomes critical.
While many people like to think they make decisions on pure rationale, at the end of the day many decisions are made on the concept of “fit.” During many job interviews, interviewers often cite someone not being the right fit as the reason for not hiring him or her. For business owners, many customers decide on purchasing a product or service based on the perception of the owner or sales team. Peter Montoya’s book The Brand Called You is often cited as a top-notch book resource for anyone interested in changing how business owners and professionals promote themselves. Despite having a focus for those currently owning a business, there are many lessons any individual can take away from this book. Montoya explains personal branding in the three parts. Hexplains what exactly is a personal brand, he then gives insight to the three essential pieces of personal brands, and finally, he provides insight on how to bring your brand to life.
(Ad Age) – When marketers use terms like brand “personality,” “character” and “manner,” they’re more accurate than they know. New research into consumer brand purchase and loyalty behavior has revealed that the way humans respond to brands is simply an extension of the way they instinctively perceive, judge and behave toward one another. In short, people were the first brands; faces were the first logos. That insight could revolutionize brand and social-media strategies. Over the past several decades, social psychologists deduced that as humans struggled for survival they had to develop an ability to make two kinds of judgments with great speed and accuracy: What are the intentions of other people toward me? How capable are they of carrying out those intentions?
(Absorb The Web) — With no real industry regulation around or even on the horizon, search engine optimization has really taken on a lot of different definitions over the final ten years. Is social media a part of it? Is it not? What should be included in Search Engine Optimization and what shouldn’t? The reality is the Google and other search engines favor a branding like approach when building a website online.
(Fast Company) — Businesses too often do “what’s worked.” That’s a good practice, as long as it continues to work. Unfortunately, companies often recognize much too late that “what we’ve always done” isn’t working as it had in the past. This is generally accompanied by that “strong resistance to change” phenomena seen in larger corporations or bureaucratic businesses.
(Personal Branding 101) — June is here – time to celebrate the 10 best personal branding articles written in May 2010. All of these phenomenal articles will fuel your personal brand in some way. Yet, very few of them reference “personal branding” a single time. Why do I include them? Because personal branding is about constant improvement – however you can achieve it. Enjoy!
(Media Post) — Can you imagine witnessing the evolution of the universe from its earliest beginning? Imagine small, unrelated bits resolving slowly to form recognizable patterns. Like the hot, dense state that characterized the Big Bang, the evolution of online branding has been fueled by its own explosion of transformational technology (and yes, “black hole” is a fitting term for the recession). This is both a scary and exciting time for our industry, and I believe that leading brands — big brands, to be specific — are showing us the way forward.
(Work Bloom) — One very valuable piece of advice that can help you excel at work, is to document and record the best pieces of your work history. YOU need to track your successes. Keep a folder of your significant accomplishments as well as notes, emails and letters that you have received from fellow staff, supervisors and customers. Make it a habit to request letters of recommendation and keep copies of job descriptions and announcements concerning your position that come out in email. The goal is to create a sellable brand for yourself. In return- sellable brands are paid more and they receive the best assignments. Think of yourself as a corporation. You own all rights and advertising permissions for you. Tracking your success is an important ingredient in your journey to the next level of pay and status at your company.