This article was written by freelancer Georgina Lawton.
Often when we talk about a brand, we are referring to a memorable advert or a social media campaign that’s become a talking point. If a company does something big and we remember it, then it comes to represent them. The same goes when a reputation is tarnished by a scandal or incident which could ‘harm the brand’, but what if I said the same way of thinking could be applied to you and I?
The information we put online about ourselves essentially creates a personal brand or persona and shapes the perceptions people have of us. It’s probably a good idea then, for our brand to inform and help others know what we stand for: YOU are your own brand! I sound like The She-Wolf of Wall Street but stick with me, because it’s actually easier to manage this brand than you might think. Consider this guide your first step; expert bloggers and social media whizzes share their tips on how to Be Your Own Brand (BYOB) all across the net – so you can start building your online-empire right away!
For those of you convinced that being witty, smart and engaging IRL is enough to get you a job than you may need to think again, especially if you’re trying to crack into creative industries. We’re not saying that you need your own business cards or logos, but you are expected to exist online (in a good way). Lucy Sheridan, a Life Coach and brand Mentor at Proof Coaching, can back me up: “There’s an expectation that every individual or brand has a social media presence – it’s a ‘must have’ not a ’nice to have’ these days. To make social media work hard for you, remember consistency and clarity. When people check you out before an interview they can get a picture of who you are. If that’s consistent it can work in your favour.”
And if you’re online already, think about separating The Really Fun You from the Professional You. True, some journalists and media professionals tweet their moans, loves and pet hates alongside their articles, but this isn’t a wise move when you’re starting out. Rob Hodges, Digital Marketing Executive at Mobiles.co.uk says separate your brand life and personal life: “Employers are very savvy when it comes to researching their final candidates, so make sure your privacy settings reduce the information businesses can see on your personal profiles which should be completely separate to your social life accounts.”
And Amy Beeson of Wordsby Communications advises that each social platform is a different tool to shape your online voice: “LinkedIn is great for connecting with recruitment professionals. Twitter is perfect for engaging and researching brands you’d like to work with, and use Facebook for business if you trying to start up your own company as it’s a good way to connect with customers.”
LinkedIn is the only place you can list all your talents and accolades and not feel like a show-off. Note: ‘Scout Leader 2003-2008’ and ‘200m swimming’ is probably stretching it a bit. Col Skinner, owner of digital consultancy firm Profoundry had this advice on making LinkedIn work for you:
In case you’d been living under a rock, Twitter is an invaluable tool for connecting with professionals and staying up-to-date with breaking news. Emma Gannon, Social Media Editor at The Debrief gives us her top-tips for top-tweeting:
As we’ve already told you Facebook for work is soon to be an actual thing. Until that wonderful day dawns Lucy Sheridan has some tips on how you can clear up your Facebook footprint (because we all have one of these):
We’ve all seen those cool CVs that have gone viral: amazing infographics or ones designed on a back of a shoe/cake/blanket but it can be hard to showcase your personality whilst being practical. (And what do you do with a cake-CV after you’ve read it anyway? Eat it or post it back?) Col says:
When done right, a website or portfolio can be the cherry on top of that cake-CV. But looking professional AND cool on one site? No mean feat. Lucy and Emma are also top bloggers and share their tips for perfecting a site below:
So now you have all the info there’s really no excuse for a half-arsed personal brand. Good luck!
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