By far the most profound and influential lecture I have had the privilege of attending thus far comes from the social media manager for Disney. By the age of 26, Prince founded his own creative agency, launched two successful blogs, and became a speechwriter for one of the most famous brands in the world. This all came before his social media position with Disney. I was lucky enough to hear him speak to PRSSA students today about personal branding. Specifically, he gave us 10 tips to help create a strong personal brand. Most of all, he reiterated the idea that we are our own company, and every company has a brand. We must treat our brand as if it were a job.
- Find Yourself: create a road map for your future and stick to it. Like a PR student would create a plan for a client, do the same for you. This means establish a mission statement, define your goals, even conduct a SWOT analysis.
- Make an impression: “live everyday like you’re on a first date,” Prince said. You want to present your best self at all times. Keep your resume, business card, with your links to your personal website and social media on you at all times.
- Do Social Right: social media is not a brand strategy; it’s a tool for you to help support your personal brand. Keep your posts interesting, funny, educational, impressive, or flattering; if it is not one of these adjectives then it should not be posted.
- Be Narrow Minded: follow you personal plan, and more importantly follow your gut. Plan ahead so you can stay on track.
- Be a content creator: Do not just recycle other people’s work and link to it on your own platform; write your own blog, create your own platform.
- Be a storyteller: Be authentic and tell your own story. People will be more interested if you are more than your resume or skills. People want to work with real people, not robots.
- Take it offline: as good as you have to be on the web, you must be able to present the same in person. Always look your best and be prepared to meet someone as if it is an opportunity.
- Repetition of repetition: keep pushing your brand and keep it consistent. Consistency is the base of a brand.
- Know your audience: you need to be able to adapt your brand to the audience. Think about your tools and how you can tailor them to a specific audience. Who do you connect with on Twitter? Who do you connect with on LinkedIn?
10. Have fun! If you are not enjoying your own brand or being yourself, it becomes a task and not a lifestyle. Your brand should be a part of your life and you should be able to enjoy it.