If you’ve been paying attention to my content thus far you’ve probably noticed I talk a lot about Brands. But why is that? Am I obsessed with them? You know what, don’t answer that question. The reason I talk about Brands so much is because of how important they are! Here’s the hard truth, if you’re not already building a Personal Brand, you’re losing.
Building a Personal Brand for yourself is the single, utmost important thing you can do for your professional career, especially as a Designer. In the world we live in today almost everything we do is geared around social media and engaging with other people. Right? It use to be that maybe you graduated, you put together a nice little resume, took some interviews, shook some hands, and boom! You had a job. But the simple truth is that, that’s just not true anymore. How many times have you applied to a job or been interviewing and they ask for your social media handles or about your skills using Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram? If you’re like me it’s probably 95% of the time (and the ones that don’t you don’t want to work with anyways). But why is that so important? I thought this was a post about Personal Branding, not social media. You’re right, but here’s what you need to understand.
Your Personal Brand is essentially the public’s perception of you. Think of it this way. Your Brand is essentially your reputation, and your reputation is what people say about you when you’re not around. Not sure what that might be? Here’s a fun exercise, and probably more eye opening than you think. Take a survey of 5-10 (or more) of your closest friends, colleagues, whoever, and ask them to simply describe you as a person. There you go, that’s your Personal Brand so far. Don’t like what your Brand is currently? No worries, you can change that. It’s all about what you want to communicate and how you’re going to execute that. Maybe you’re simply known as an easy-going, laid back person, but you want to be known as approachable and energetic. It’s all about COMMUNICATING and being CONSISTENT! Remember those two words because they’re going to be your best friends when it comes to building your Brand.
So why is social media so important to building your Personal Brand? Because these are the platforms you use to advance your Brand and market it to a larger audience. How you carry yourself on Social Media is one of the most important things you have to keep track of, and making sure your voice is heard and using that to communicate effectively is essential. Social Media sites like Twitter and Facebook are becoming your new resume. Don’t believe me? In your next interview or networking meeting ask the director how often they pay attention to Social Media. This is real, and it’s important.
Building a solid Personal Brand is going to open up more opportunities for you than anything else ever could. This is most often going to be the first point of contact someone will have with you and your services. Ever heard of word of mouth? Of course you have. Well guess what that’s doing, it’s spreading your PERSONAL BRAND because your clients are telling other potential clients exactly what they think of you and what it was like working with you. You’re building your Brand without even being there. So, how you present yourself is everything!
This is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. In the interest of length I won’t go into a lot of details in this post, but I think it’s important that you know how important it is to have a Personal Brand.
What’s your Personal Brand communicating?
Would you be interested in a post detailing steps to building a personal brand? Let me know in the comments below!