Tag Archive | personal brand

Branded

(part 3 of 3)

When I thought of the idea for a blog series about my brand,I didn’t think it would teach me so much.

I simply said to myself one day:

“It’s probably time to take of the glass-slippers Cinderella and show Ohio that you’re back. Not only are you back, but you’re better, more mature, a little tanner (thank you Florida sun) and ready to take on the world! So go on out there Jess, make your mark on the world!”

OK, maybe I didn’t say exactly that inspiring and well-thought out – but close. I knew that I had a pretty decent understand of personal branding and that it was time for me to move from princess to professional (but let’s be honest – the pink and the glitter are staying). 

The first part of slightly shifting my brand to was figuring out my values, goals and what I wanted my brand to say to people. You can read that journey by click here for the 1st post of this mini series: You, your image & your brand. One I knew my foundation, I needed to know if my brand would whisper, speak or yell.

Well, that’s a tough one – and, in my professional opinion – a trick question. I want all three.

Yup, you heard it here first, folk.

I want to whisper that I am both a child and adult

 speak of my experience, education and personality

yell that I am the optimistic and ready to change the world

So now, let’s do that – time to implement a brand.

  1. Clean up the image. To me, that really lands on social media. I designed a new website header and the fabulous @allyheller (check out her fantastic website: http://www.allyjeanhellyer.blogspot.com/ ) is helping me with a blog signature. I made sure that my website, overall, represented me – young professional, slightly on the girly side, and highlighted my blog and resume. I also updated LinkedIn and GOOGLE+, making sure all the information was correct and up to-date. My favorite social media outlet is Twitter, so I knew that had evolved with me. However, if you aren’t a huge tweeter, make sure that you have a photo, background and appropriate bio. Also, tweet fairly often about subjects that fall within your “brand umbrella”.
  2. Brand Umbrella. This idea came from a brainstorming exercise a professor told me about junior year. If I need help finding a topic to blog about, I simply starting writing down topics that fall into my brand umbrella. This is a great way to help get the creative juices flowing, and when creating a brand, seeing what falls into your comfort zone. Topics under my umbrella are college life, internships, young professionals, running, cooking, cupcakes, blogging, Walt Disney World, family, Ohio, OSU buckeyes… the list continues! Your brand is how people perceive you, and knowing subjects are in your niche will be extremely helpful when you show it to the world.
  3. Get a business card. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if you’re a college student or a new professional – you need to have a business card. Not only does it allow you to keep all your information handy when you’re networking and meeting someone new, it just FELLS more professional! If someone asks for your email, you’re not rummaging for a pen or piece of paper. Simply grab your card and hand it over with a smile. BOOM! Great brand imaging right there. www.visitaprint.com is my favorite website for personal business cards. You can get 250 for free, you only need to pay shipping and handling (which runs about $6, so you can’t beat that deal).

***the most important thing about creating and implementing your band is CONSISTENCY***
If you have a color scheme, an icon, a quote or ANYTHING that is the foundation of your brand, put that on everything. 

When you go into an interview or a networking event, properly represent your brand. Now, I’m not saying dress all in pink or go around citing a fabulous motivational quote (come on, let’s not get crazy) but you need to walk-the-walk. BUT I HAVE GREAT NEWS! If your brand really represents you, it will be easy. I want my brand to show someone that is optimistic and loves meeting new people – and I try to have that come across when I meet new business connections.

Brands will mature and change as you do, but it’s important to know that you have complete power over your reputation and how people perceive you. Don’t be afraid to really take charge and decide what YOU want to represent.

thanks for reading!

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Twitter friends, Southwest, personal branding – oh my!

(part 2 of 3)

My dream came true…well, sort of. My last post about personal branding led me to one of my favorite things about blogging – interacting and connecting with another young PR I’ve never met face-to-face. Abbey Lape – an Ohio girl studying PR & Journalism at Robert Morris University. She shared her own journey about personal branding, and I loved the similarities between our paths!

While we have a strong connection in why we want to brand ourselves and our strong personalities, we disagree on if our values will change over time. Who knows what we will believe in five, 10 or 15 years or how the choices we make now will grow and develop down the road? That’s the best part about blogging and making connections through Twitter – you learn so much.

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Here is Abbey’s brand development story:

How did I start establishing myself as a brand? It’s a tricky question but I would say I first really started thinking about it at the beginning of this past fall semester. I was at the PRSSA National Conference in Orlando for the first time and boy was it overwhelming! It was where I first decided that I needed to step up my game to set myself apart from other recent grads vying for the same job as me.



 More and more I’ve been thinking about what sets me apart from others and I’ve tried to put it in two or three words. What makes me qualified to do what I do? What makes me better than everyone else I’m up against for a job or internship? Those words change all the time because I’m always changing and adapting to my surroundings.

 The one thing that forced me to sit down and develop a brand for myself was an internship and scholarship application with Fahlgren Mortine at Easton. Part of the application was to compare yourself to an already established brand. I compared myself to Southwest Airlines. I was limited to three paragraphs on explaining why I am like Southwest. After researching the company and some of their more notable stories, this is what I cam up with:

 “Southwest Airlines. We know them through their visual presence in the sky with the bold blue and yellow airplanes. We know them for their no frills, low cost flights. We know them for their friendly and welcoming employees and we know them for allowing free baggage. And of course, we know Southwest Airlines for arguably one of the top travel stories of 2011 when the pilot held the plane for a grandfather who had just lost his grandson and was en route to his funeral.
Abbey Lape. She is known for her bold personality. She is known for being hardworking and quick on her feet in stressful situations. She isn’t afraid to take a chance and is always hungry to learn more. She’s detail oriented and is known for being kind hearted and often putting others needs before hers.
 Like Southwest, Abbey Lape has old school tendencies but also isn’t afraid to be bold and try something new. She likes to make the experiences of others something they won’t get at a different place, something Southwest prides themselves in. Both Southwest and Abbey Lape are brands people can trust. The most common theme between the two brands though is thinking outside the box, something that is evident within their both their reputation and work.”

Overall, I think my brand will change and evolve over time, just like almost everything in this world does. My brand will stick to my core values, which I’m sure as my life takes different paths, my core values will change.

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Thanks for reading. My next blog post will finish my small three part series on personal branding – stay tuned!