The Perception of Personal Branding Can Influence Your Career
By Tyng Kam, Stride Career Prep Success Coach
Personal branding is the intentional effort of crafting and influencing people’s perception of you. When you think of popular brands like Nike, you have specific perceptions and emotional connections form in your mind about the brand, like freedom, fashionable sportswear, high efficiency, and more. These brand images were strategically crafted over a long period to form public opinion about the brand. Now, in applying that same concept to building your brand, you will soon see that it’s essentially the process of developing your stamp on your name. You can then use this mark to better express and communicate the personality and values you bring to the table. Having a personal brand helps to differentiate you from the crowd and can make a lasting impression.
The process of curating your personal brand is a lifelong effort. Your brand naturally evolves with your life experiences and exposures. Having said that, you can start building your brand with these few steps.
1. Discover yourself
Self-discovery is the first step to crafting your personal brand, and it is often the most challenging step in the process. It is essential that you spend time discovering your personality attributes, values, interests, strengths, and skills. Values are core principles that give meaning to your life, while interests and passions are things that motivate how you want to spend your time. If you are at a loss, try taking some personality tests and interest assessments. “16 Personalities” is one of my favorite tools, among the many free tools available on the internet. You can also interview people who know you well and ask them what top three attributes come to mind when they think about you.
2. Ask yourself how you want to be remembered
Your personal brand involves everything that shapes how people view you. This includes your friends, teachers, colleagues, future employers, and other acquittances. Once you discover qualities that are unique to you, you will want to craft your personal brand statement, so that it clearly articulates your brand values. To help you craft your vision and personal brand statement, think about how you would like people to remember you.
You can use the fill-in-the-blanks template listed below as a guide, to get started with writing your statement. Don’t be constrained by this language; simply use it as a starting point.
· To identify keywords to describe yourself: I use my ___________ and ___________ for ___________.
· To express your core values: I am known for ___________, I ___________.
· To showcase your strengths and skills: Using ___________ (key trait), I ___________, by providing ___________.
· To highlight what you are known for: Through my ___________, I ___________, when I serve ___________.
3. Live your personal brand
Actions speak louder than words. What you do, and how you live your day-to-day life, are the best ways to showcase your personal brand. Once you’ve decided on your brand's value propositions, you will want to ask yourself if your daily activities reflect who you say you are. For example, if you are positioning yourself as someone who is goal-oriented and has strong organizational skills, your academic achievement and extra-curricular activities should reflect your statement.
Your body language, voice, and other non-verbal communications are key elements used to communicate your brand. Another example is if you say you are a compassionate individual, who is driven by the opportunity to help others. You might want to start expressing this by offering a friendly smile and a warm handshake when meeting with people.
4. Publish your brand online
Taking your brand online is an important aspect of managing your personal brand. Your website, blog, video posts, digital profiles like Tallo and LinkedIn, and photo galleries are great tools to communicate your brand. In general, your profile content should include the following:
a. A profile summary that briefly tells who you are, including your personal and professional aspirations
b. Links to your social media sites, like Tallo, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube pages
c. Educational background
d. Features that enhance your personal brand, like a favorite quote
e. A high-definition profile photo that reflects your brand
f. Links to, or PDF versions of, articles you’ve written, videos and images you’ve created, or other works you’ve produced
Personal branding is an ongoing process, and one that can help you in Finding Your Path within the greater context of your career.
To learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and what it offers, be sure to visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html