Week 7 (24/3): Intro to Personal Branding

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

BY DEB BAUER

This week we will look at:

  • how to pursue our desired career path
  • how to achieve our goals
  • personal branding

No matter how definite or vague your career goals are, setting them as SMART goals makes it easier for you to achieve them.

What are SMART goals?

Photo by Joint Base Charleston

The SMART framework demystifies goals by breaking them into smaller steps. SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant with Timelines.” 

READ more about SMART goals here.

What is a personal brand?

A personal brand is what you are uniquely known for. It’s marketing you and your career as a brand. You already possess a personal brand of sorts. Check out your current personal branding by Googling yourself. Chances are some personal info about you will pop up on the first page. Is it what you want potential employers or clients to see?

Why do I need a personal brand?

 “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
(Tom Peters, “A Brand Called You”)

Personal branding is essential for a number of reasons:

  • There is a definite link between career success and personal branding
  • The personal branding model suggests that success comes from self-packaging
  • You are active in creating the direction of your life
  • You decide what your value is and who you want to share it with
  • When you develop a personal brand, the boost in your image can open doors and create opportunities
  • Your personal brand is in some respect a promise of your valued reputation

How do I build my personal brand?

Your personal brand needs to be structured so that it is easily communicated verbally and online for maximum impact.

First, you must ‘know yourself’: your unique personality, strengths and skills.

If you need a little help with that, have a look at this post.

  • Prepare to announce publicly what you’re personally passionate about
  • Sharpen up all your communication and media skills
  • Establish a distinctive presence on several social networks
  • Note how your audience responds to your content and adjust accordingly
  • Start making contacts, decisions and goals that are in line with your personal brand

WANT MORE ON PERSONAL BRANDING?

Watch:

Have you ever stopped to think about the qualities that differentiate you from others who are doing the same thing as you?

Now is the time to start thinking about it as sooner or later you’ll need to craft a compelling career brand statement. The brand statement you communicate should authentically echo your own voice and align with your profession.

Get clear about what makes you unique. Start by asking your classmates, friends and family for feedback about your assets, performance and strengths. Then work on scripting a value statement or ‘elevator speech’ showcasing your personal attributes and professional principles.

Here’s more info about elevator speech with an example or two.

TASK

Write your elevator speech.

  • It should introduce you and who you are
  • It should be about 30 seconds long
  • It should be authentic – don’t try to be anyone but the best version of yourself

Drop back into the Zoom call.
Present your elevator speech to the class (a very friendly audience!) 

Today, we’re working on using that brand to speak to your audience and working out how you best connect with the audience. First up: who is your audience?

TASK

Write down what you know about your target audience. This can be simple, and in dot points – no essays required!

Consider:

  • Age

You don’t need to get too specific here. It won’t likely make a difference whether your average customer is 24 or 27. But knowing which decade of life they’re in, or their generation, can be very useful. 

  • Location
    Where in the world do they live? Are they in Sydney? Australia? In addition to understanding which geographic areas to target, this helps you work out when to post to ensure best visibility and maximum reach.
  • Interests
    What do they like to do, besides using your products or services? What TV shows do they watch? What do they do with their spare time?
  • Stage of life
    Are they likely to be college students? New parents? Parents of teens? Retirees?

(Source: Hootsuite)

Want more about journalism audiences? Read this.

Next: how can we connect with your audience?

The easiest way is to make media content with your audience in mind.

Think:

  • What is your audience interested in?
  • What else do they watch, listen to, read?
  • What social media platforms do they spend time on?

Then: make your content!

TASK

Make content for your target audience.

Choose and make one (or more) of the following:

  1. Written story
  2. Instagram post
  3. Facebook post
  4. Infographic using Canva
  5. Short audio or video piece for social media
  6. (If you’ve finished, also consider making an audiogram using Headliner. Just play around with it to see what you can make!)

Author: veritychambers

Journalist and teacher

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