Students: Invest in Your Personal Brand

Personal brand building is an investment in yourself. By genuinely portraying your identity and positioning your perspectives and viewpoints to build rapport with your network, you will enhance your reputation and authority and solidify a critical career asset.

Be authentic and transparent. It is key to be your true self. Social media enables others to discover who you are, so being real and consistent builds trust and credibility.

Curate your digital identity. Activate and optimize your social presence. Periodically revisit your chosen media channels and digital portfolio to ensure that you do not have inappropriate followers or connections, your content and actions tell your intended story and your information is up to date. Marry your online persona to that of your offline personality - make it seamless.

Maintain a passion for learning. Being a perpetual learner ensures currency of skills and enables you to provide your network with interesting information. By gaining new and relevant knowledge, you are able to both provide value to your network and acknowledge and contribute to the awareness of those from whom you garnered the insights. Be generous and give to your network without a goal of reciprocity.

Become an original content creator. Your own voice is the best voice to tell your personal story. Whether it is writing blogs, creating videos for a YouTube channel, or perhaps crafting presentations and uploading to SlideShare, create assets that provide proof of your personal brand. The experience you create for others matters and original content facilitates and supports your theme.

Communicate to create engagement. Seek to meaningfully interact with your target audience both online and offline. This might take the form of sharing and amplifying others content in social channels or engaging in discussions by commenting and asking questions. Attending college fairs or conferences and cultivating relationships through real world interactions should also be part of your communication and positioning strategy.

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

Take Aways

  • Engage with others who can assist in helping you to tell your story. This can take the form of collaboration on a project or article, or cultivating influence to amplify and magnify your voice and reach.

  • Recognize that you are "public," so maintain an eye towards your personal security and privacy. Review changes to privacy and security settings for social channels on a regular basis.

  • Enjoy the personal brand building journey. Today's "always on" communications environment means that on and offline engagement is constant. Find enjoyment in the journey and embrace and be open to change.