Here at SevenAtoms, we frequently consult with clients about issues related to branding, a very broad conversation with different marketing applications for large companies, small companies, independent business owners, and job seekers. In the next two posts, we’ll break the complex topic of personal branding down into two steps: Developing a personal brand from the ground up, and controlling your personal brand online once it’s established.
Developing a Personal Brand
First, why is personal branding important? Giant companies might need to exercise tight brand control, but if you’re just a regular person trying to land a job, can a brand really help or hurt you that much? Yes and yes. Put yourself in an employer’s position. After you’ve narrowed down an applicant pool and are ready to schedule interviews, it only takes a minute to Google each candidate. And in this day and age, a quick Google search is becoming a simple, inexpensive and expected aspect of due diligence during the hiring process. So what would you like your potential employers to find?
Think Before you Brand: Three Words
In order to build your brand, you’ll need to find a way to condense all you have to offer into three or four words. To identify those words, ask yourself the following questions:
- How do I want people to feel when they think of me? Your name should have an emotional appeal. Above all, are you trustworthy? Organized? Creative? A firebrand?
- Who is your target audience? If you’re looking for jobs in the childcare field, your employers will be looking for someone unflappable and kind. If you’re in a laboratory field, your audience may be looking for focus and attention to detail.
- Then put the two together. What kind of product do you have to offer to your target audience? How does your emotional appeal (item 1) fit the need established by item 2? The three words of your personal brand should, for example, suggest an unflappable childcare provider with a flair for creativity. Or a focused lab assistant with a sense of organization.
By the end of this process, you should have three words in hand that summarize your personal brand. Now you’re ready to move onto the next stage: controlling your brand online.
Image By: IvanWalsh.com