Managing your Personal Brand Online
If the mere mention of the phrase “personal brand” makes you cringe then you are not alone. Until now, mere mortals could be forgiven for thinking that this concept of “brand” was the sole preserve of celebrities and those in the public eye. Not anymore. The boom of social media has meant that anyone who engages with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is simultaneously building their personal brand whether it is a conscious decision or not. If this is something you have never thought about before then do not fear. How you present yourself online can be a great asset to your job search and career progression even if you haven’t thought about it until now. My challenge to you is not to shy away from creating a public image or personal brand, but to embrace it as an opportunity to further your career.
What is a Brand anyway?
The first definition of “brand” is the name given to a product or service from a specific source. Any child of the 80s will know that all colas are not created equal. When offered a Coke at any kind of family function the deciding factor was always the brand : Panda Cola and Coca Cola are just not the same. As consumers we develop strong relationships with brands, and it is often a subconscious connection that will bring us back time and again. Yorkshire Tea, Tag Heuer watches, Levi jeans. All of these products – and many others – are distinct not because of a unique ingredient or how they are made, but because of what we associate with them. Here is where the definition of Brand changes. Jerry McLaughlin (Forbes) writes that in the late 20th century
“Marketers realised that they could create a specific perception in customers’ minds concerning the qualities and attributes of each non-generic product or service. They took to calling this perception “the brand.”
Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name.”
Your Personal Brand
Therein lies the point. Your Personal Brand is not a logo or a product – it’s not even the real you. Your PB is what your “prospect” (read: potential employer) thinks of when he or she hears your name. Your brand is our first indicator of what kind of person you are, what you stand for, what your beliefs are and – in the world of employment – what kind of employee you will be.
So what does your online presence tell us? That you are a keyboard warrior? A tech savvy marketer? Are you a personal brand guru or someone who forgets how to be personable when behind a computer screen? If you’ve never thought about it, now is the time! You may not have thousands of pounds to spend on PR, but the average person can still do plenty to ensure their online presence represents them in the best light and gives them the best chance of securing that dream job! Hop over to our next post to begin your first steps to managing brand “you”.
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