Whether you’re watching a TED Talk, skimming the Wall Street Journal, or checking out business Pinterest boards, you’re probably seeing something about branding. It’s huge now! Businesses want to develop their brand identity. Executives make decisions based on how effectively it lines up with their brand. That’s all well and good, but how much have you thought about your brand lately?
Your brand is who you are. It’s how you package and sell yourself to the outside world. At The Flairist, we’re all about being shamelessly ambitious, but the truth is, you can’t go anywhere worth going if you don’t know who you are. Here are three ways to building your personal branding strategy so you can start taking steps towards your dreams:
1. ) CHECK-UP THEN CHECK-IN
Take time to think about what you want. One of my favorite authors, Scott McKnight, asks, “What would it look like to live a life with no regret?” Ask yourself what a fulfilling life looks like for you. It’s helpful to write three or four words that you want to describe you. You can even write a mission statement. Once you’ve laid out your brand identity, only make decisions that fit your brand. Is community important to you? Pass on that job that makes you work 100 hours a week. Does your dream include working at a specific company? Apply for that internship and work your way up!
2.) TAKE INVENTORY
So you’ve determined your brand. Unfortunately, that’s not enough. A brand has to be translated. Thankfully, social media helps you broadcast your brand. Make sure your social media message is consistent with your brand identity. Your online presence may be all a future employer sees of you. Ask yourself if certain Facebook photos will really help you get that dream job. Consider updating your LinkedIn page with industry related articles on a regular basis to show your interest. Taking inventory isn’t a negative process. It’s maintenance, like treating yourself to a manicure or an eyebrow wax.
3. ) MAKE THAT PAPER
Some of the best opportunities come when you least expect them. A girl has to be prepared! There are plenty of websites that provide business cards and will even design your resume for you. The purpose of branding is to position yourself as different from the competition. Get business cards printed. Revise your resume. Slip your defining words into your cover letter. And above all, do it in a way that is consistent across mediums and consistent with your brand. These slips of paper are billboards advertising you.
There is a big difference between reading about building a brand and actually building it. Pick a step. Start the process today.
Featured image by Joel Mott via Unsplash.