Bridging the Gap: The Secrets of Personal Branding

This post is part of our PRSSA 2012 National Conference series, where members of our Executive Board will be sharing tips from various breakout sessions.

“Live everyday like you are on a first date.” This is just one of many great pieces of advice from Matt Prince, Social Media Manager at Disneyland Resort, on discovering, establishing, and maintaining your personal brand. As a PR practitioner the biggest and most important client you will ever have is yourself. Because if your personal brand isn’t strong, why would a client trust you to create their brand?

Here are a few tips on branding yourself from Prince’s presentation, because your brand is not what you do, it’s what people think you do.

  • Find yourself. Asses your online platforms, conduct a SWOT analysis, create a road map. Whatever you would do for a client, do it for yourself.
  • Make an impression. your face and name carry your personal brand, but so does your online presence. “Mirror your version of success – be the image of what you want to be.”
  • Do social right. Social media is not a brand strategy, it is a tool. Contrary to popular belief, it only accounts for 1/5th of your personal brand.
  • Abide by the “iffy iffy” rule. When deciding whether to post on one of your online platforms, ask yourself if it is one of the following: interesting, funny, educational, flattering, embarrassing, or impressive. If it isn’t, don’t post it.
  • Be a content creator. By controlling the content you post, you control your message, and by controlling your message, you control your brand. Remember, “No one really remembers the mailman, they remember who sent them the message.”

Those are just a few tips to remember when shaping your own online brand. Looking for a quick fix? Clean up your online brand quickly by hiding bad photos of yourself on Facebook and removing any controversial content – if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, you probably don’t want your potential boss to find it either. It’s also important to be narrow-minded, create a plan, be a storyteller, know your audience, and to take it offline. Repetition of reputation is key to success.

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