Advice / How To

How to Brand Yourself

Business Cards

Why does branding matter?
As public relations students, we are aware of the importance of company branding but often overlook our own personal brand. This post will explore personal branding, discuss value proposition and key publics, and how to market your brand.

Determine your brand
SWOT Analysis: A personal SWOT analysis can help you determine your capabilities and interests, which will help you figure out where you should be heading professionally.

  • What are your strengths? Your strengths can include your skills or certifications do.
  • What are your weaknesses? What tasks do you avoid doing or what do you struggle with?
  • What opportunities have you been presented with? Is there a void you could be filling at the office? Could you use your network as a resource to find new opportunities?
  • What obstacles stand in the way of your goals and what competition are you facing?

Identify your value proposition
Value proposition identifies who you are. What image do you want people to associate with you? Use your SWOT analysis to help you identify what makes you unique. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help determine your value proposition:

  • What are your goals and what do you have to offer?
  • How will you promote these goals and strengths?
  • Can you incorporate storytelling into your proposition?
  • Does your value proposition capture your personality?

Once you have identified your value proposition, think about how to translate that into a 60-second, a 30-second and a 10-second elevator pitch to tell potential employers.

Have a targeted approach
You need to be strategic with your brand and identify your target audience. Consider factors like:

  • Who should you target to get the job you want? What do you have to do to get the attention of that demographic?
  • What keywords should you use to attract the attentions of those in the industry you are pursuing?
  • What kind of business are you looking for (boutique/start-up; SMB; Fortune 500)? What company culture do you want?
  • What can you contribute to this industry?

Market yourself
Social media profiles are a great way to get your name out there and to connect with others. Do not try to be on every social media platform because you cannot devote enough time and effort to each account.

  • Choose two to four social media platforms that are relevant to you and your chosen industry. Be strategic about what platforms you choose and use them regularly.
  • Focus on building relationships. Reach out to other users because your connections will help you succeed in the professional world.
  • Emphasize storytelling and consistency. It is easier for others to relate to stories, so talk about your life and your experiences.

Remember
Branding yourself is a continuous process. Everything that you do reflects on your personal brand. Think about how your online interactions reflect on your brand.

How do you market yourself online? Please tell us about your personal branding efforts in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Oliver Beattie

DSC_0517Kaitlyn is the PRSSA External Relations Project Manager for the 2012-2013 school year. She is a senior studying public relations at the University of Oregon. You connect with Kaitlyn at kchock@uoregon.edu or on Twitter @thtwhtkatiesaid.

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