Self branding is one of the most crucial elements of success. Whether through social media or face to face interactions, how you brand yourself will set the tone of your job interviews, friendships, and your overall encounters and reputation. You may be asking, how do I do this? Have I already branded myself? What do people think of my brand now? Am I too late?
SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. Luckily for you, I’m here with a few #TuesdayTips to help get your personal brand on the right track, and if you think you need a little more help remember that DFSCC is always here with some brilliant marketing strategies!
What are your passions, interests, hobbies, and goals? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Who are your role models? What do you want people to think of when they meet you?
Answering these questions is integral to starting your self-branding process, but I personally found it one of the hardest parts. We all love hearing other people say great things about us, but when it comes time for us to brag on ourselves it can be challenging. I found that using tools like Gallup’s StrengthsQuest helped me verbalize my skills on my resume and relate them to previous experiences. If StrengthsQuest doesn’t do it for you, Reinventing You by Dorrie Clark has been on my reading list forever and is supposed to be the ultimate self-branding-guide.
Privacy Settings work…right?
With social media and technology becoming increasingly prominent in our daily lives, what you post online really matters. I know, I know, you’ve heard this a hundred times. But it’s easy to slip up and forget that a potential boss or client is probably Googling you before committing to working with you. Even if you’re happily employed, it’s important to remember that what you post online is a direct representation of your company, and unfortunately, there can be serious consequences if they don’t like what they see.
Now, don’t keep reading this thinking, “my pages are private so this picture of me (the one I’d rather forget) won’t affect anything” because truthfully, many companies have the ability to side-step social media privacy settings. Watch your pictures and try and refrain from posting about extremely political or controversial topics. It’s also important to be careful about what you say while texting, since you never know who knows who or what’s going to be the subject of a screenshot!
Leave a [professional] digital footprint
While I could go on about the implications that social media can have on your career path, it’s important to emphasize the benefits of leaving a professional online presence.
If you have a portfolio, why not put it online? Create a personal website to document your achievements as well as tell a narrative about yourself. This is a great way to broadcast your personality and appear relatable while still sharing your talents and experiences.
Don’t forget to link your online resume – while your website is most definitely amazing (don’t forget, we can help with that!) it’s still important to condense your experiences into an easily accessible and downloadable file. I recently revamped my resume on visualcv.com and if you haven’t tried it yet, do it, because it has changed my life forever.
If you’re not interested in creating a personal website, make sure to take advantage of professional social media platforms like LinkedIn. LinkedIn makes it easy to document and share your experiences, projects, education, memberships, recommendations and more. With their new update, you can even link to different documents or websites – like your resume or online portfolio – to further showcase your qualifications.
Check out my Personal Website, Online Resume, and LinkedIn page for some #GirlBoss inspo.
Email Etiquette – it’s a real thing
Your email address: a small thing that goes a long way. Imagine receiving an email from firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, that was my email address in middle school). Would you take them seriously? Most likely not.
If you took my advice about an online portfolio, website or resume, attach them to your signature. This emphasizes your credibility and experience, and can really set you apart from other professionals.
Remember that emails and texting are NOT the same – I’ve seen way too many people send professional emails with misspellings, inappropriate abbreviations and common grammatical errors. Keep your message streamlined, short and to the point. Not many professionals have time or want to sit through and read an email the length of a novel – break up your points into small sections to keep your audience interested. Reassuring people of your capabilities will be a breeze if you acknowledge these professional do’s and don’ts.
Who do you associate yourself with?
Who you associate yourself with is a strong tell about who you are. Although it can seem comforting to befriend everyone who crosses your path, it’s important to remember that you’re judged by the company you keep. Are the people you surround yourself with doing good in the world or promoting an environment you don’t want to be affiliated with? A quote I’ve always kept in mind is, “I’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies”. This can be hard for me, since I’m a typically positive person and love to see the best in everyone, but as a wise woman frequently says, “Friend divorcing is necessary sometimes”. Sound harsh, but you have to look out for yourself and your reputation.
I hope these #TuesdayTips help you on your self-branding journey! Remember, DFS Creative Concepts is always here to help with any of your questions or needs.