You may have heard of the concept of a personal brand, and maybe you think it’s only really for celebrities and business people, but it’s truly not. A strong personal brand can set you apart from the crowd and be a real benefit to you.
A personal brand is basically how you present yourself to the world. In her article How to Create a Personal Brand, author Joi Sears notes that “personal branding is about aligning every visible aspect of your life with your brand.” She goes on to note that this isn’t about making things up or embellishing facts to make your life seem awesome, it’s about being authentic and creating that lasting impression.
Creating and knowing your personal brand is mostly about self-discovery and spending time thinking about what you want to portray to the world. A great way to start thinking about this is to ask yourself…
“What do I stand for?” and “Who do I want to be?”
Once you’ve decided the answers to those questions you can start to create your brand by making sure those values shine through all aspects of your life.
A lot of people think personal branding is only relevant in the online space, but it certainly isn’t. How you represent yourself in person is incredibly important too. Even your appearance and the way you dress is part of your brand – just make sure you’re always staying true to what you feel comfortable in, and what makes you feel awesome.
Your personal brand has the ability to help you reach any goals that you set for yourself. In a world where competition for jobs and post-secondary school acceptance is fierce, your brand can be what gets you in.
It’s important to note, that as much as your personal brand can help you succeed, it can work the other way too. Everything you do in the online space is permanent and can have an effect on your life. Check out this awesome article “Could your social media history come back to bite you?” to see how sometimes what we do online can come back to bite us.
Now go start building your personal brand (or cleaning it up)!