Personal Branding: Why Being the Expert on Yourself Pays Off
Practicing PR in the 21st century means being unable to escape the phrase “social media”. As a young professional it can be difficult to build a portfolio, land that first internship, or even just impress your peers. Although most millennials use social media purely for entertainment, if used correctly, it can be an invaluable tool. Imagine yourself as a client; presenting yourself in a professional, but still personal, light is the essence of creating a personal brand. Personal branding is an effective way to build both credibility and an online presence.
Step one of building a personal brand is the easiest one: google yourself. In the future someone, likely a future employer, is bound to give your name a search. This process allows you clean up your online identity as it already exists and provides insight into which sites the search engine prioritizes.
The next step is creating profiles, accounts, and websites. If you do not have one yet, create a Twitter and make it public. Choose an icon thats professional and presentable i.e. no silly Snapchat selfies here. Set up a LinkedIn, fill out as many categories as you can, and network away. A LinkedIn can function as a great resume supplement that goes more in depth into your skills and past experiences. These two sites are staples of any young professional. To set yourself apart, start a blog. Blogs are a great way to showcase your writing, graphic designs, photography, etc.! Blogs can show, rather than tell, employers about your all of your skills in one place.
The hardest part of the process comes after all of the accounts are set up. Creating and maintaing a steady stream of content can be difficult. However, by creating a personal brand you are effectively creating an online portfolio that anyone can find. Who knows, someday employers might be the ones reaching out to you!