Three Steps to Build Your Brand
Building your personal brand is like getting lost in a maze. It's an intimidating task, yet it dictates how you portray yourself and how others perceive you. Although your brand may evolve as your interests change, it should serve as a guide to creating your empire.
Think of developing your brand like gardening. You first plant a seed and eventually the flower blooms. Over time, that flower may change colors, grow larger and even sprout somewhere else. At age 16, you should have a small idea of what your brand is - the seed. Maybe it's your volunteer work, life experiences or future ambitions that spark interest. After high school graduation, your brand starts to bloom into action as you accept a job, build a resume and work on professional development. Although your brand should guide the progression of your career, it will slightly change as you learn and grow. Take Pepsi or Apple for example - each company is in full bloom but they constantly adapt.
1. What's Your Passion
Think about what motivates you or sparks excitement. Chances are, you're already doing the things that you're passionate about, so you might not have to look too hard. Once you know what you love, turn it into something substantial. For example, I'm passionate about raising awareness for Alzheimer's. Because of that, I'm on an Alzheimer's Association Committee and I fundraise for a cure. Your passions can easily dictate volunteer work, personal projects and even your career. You've heard it before - if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.
2. Tell A Story
To articulate your brand, turn your most relevant passions into a story. This is usually personal and it often includes background information. For example, I'm passionate about raising awareness for Alzheimer's because my grandmother was diagnosed with dementia when I was in 8th grade. After you explain your reason why, continue by explaining what you do in your role. Telling a story can be difficult, especially because it includes more than one passion. Think about where you started, where you are and where you want to be. Once you have articulated your thoughts, you can include this in a resume summary or LinkedIn bio.
3. Live Your Brand
Can you imagine if Nike sold ballet shoes? I'm sure it's possible, but it seems slightly off-brand, right? Staying true to your brand is crucial for consistency and credibility. Contribute to the success of your brand by promoting it in-person and online. For example, it would be strange to attend Alzheimer's Association meetings and rarely take action otherwise. You must also know if there's something unique about yourself because how you act, what you say, your personality and even what you look like can be a part of your brand. Living your brand is all encompassing and allows others to learn about and live out your passions as well. This will help you secure a job and grow your reach because people are constantly reminded about who you are and what you do.
My resume summary:
Diana’s experience as Miss New York Teen 2014 inspired her to obtain a Bachelor of Art’s in Media and Communication. Although Diana’s true passion lies in storytelling through journalism, design and video, she gained skills in event planning and business development as an Event Coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association and Lead Generation Specialist at VisualDx. Diana is eager to combine her vast variety of skills to a long time career, ultimately contributing to the success of a company.