When an individual creates a brand that is founded upon their unique strengths and interests it is known as personal branding. This type of self-branding includes many aspects of the person such as your career ambitions, your knowledge, your appearance and your personal & professional goals.
Personal branding for college students is beneficial because it provides the opportunity for long term success with a desired career after graduation. First hand, I have seen the effects of what good personal branding can do for a college student. It can help you succeed not just in the classroom but outside the classroom and even throughout your professional career. I have coached many students on how they can develop their personal brand and I have witnessed the success stories.
Having a strong and well defined personal brand could make the difference in getting the job offer, the internship or the scholarship. Therefore, if you want to succeed in a highly competitive environment I suggest that you begin to build and control your personal brand as soon as you get into college and even before if possible. Everyone has a personal brand but the ones that actively build, manage and maintain it will be the ones that stand a head above the rest.
Without further ado…
Here are the 5 Essential Principles of Building Your Personal Brand While in College:
Principle #1: Select A Brand
Your specific personal brand ought to be selected based on the areas that you are interested in such as social media, art, public speaking, fashion etc… A full commitment has to be made to this personal branding to be successful with self promotion. As soon as the branding process begins, it will be a bit difficult to alter the message that the brand is conveying.
Principle #2: Promote Yourself
Ken Blanchard Author of “One Minute Manager” says
“If you don’t toot your own horn, someone is liable to use it as a spittoon.”
You can’t be afraid to promote yourself and your personal brand. There are ways to do so without looking like a jerk. College students can start slowly by first becoming members of groups and social media websites. One has to promote a personal brand by supplying employers with many options to get in touch with you whether it, be through online blogs or portfolios. The brand can be promoted by garnering interest in the various niche services by posting a few fliers and handing out some business cards, attending networking events etc.. The goal is to get your name and your brand out there without being a jerk or overly “salesy” the best way that I’ve found to promote your brand is through social media and online marketing.
Principle #3: Have Uniformity
Uniformity is very important when it comes to the creation of a personal brand. This will encourage trust and demonstrate reliability. To create this it is best to prepare a mission statement or brand message and utilize the statement through all the various mediums of self promotion. Ensure that you use the same professional picture and name for all your portfolios, social media accounts, business cards, blogs and other methods.
Principle #4: Master The Art Of Networking
Another very important element in the process is networking which is the method in which contacts are gathered. This tends to build relationships with similar minded persons and can provide various career advantages. In order to get this process started one can volunteer, join college groups or go to various networking events.
The key is to stay in contact with the target audience. Be very careful to take all concerns into consideration and makes changes where it is necessary. Do interviews and consultations with professionals in the field of marketing on ways in which you can make improvements.
Principle #5: Cultivate Your Brand
Personal branding for college students has to be cultivated. It cannot be created and left unattended. This growth can be done by offering a number of specific services to numerous organizations. Ensure that this area of interest is unique and put all efforts into it. Think of growing a personal brand as planting seeds. Each network event that you attend, each tweet that you send out, each Facebook status that you update is a seed that you are planting. Not every seed will grow into a beautiful plant…but some of the seeds will grow beautifully and bear lots of fruit. The secret to growing more fruit is planting more seeds.
As you’re experience grows, just like the farmer you will start to recognize trends and patterns. Being able to pick up on these trends and patterns will allow you to invest more time on those activities that are generating results and less on those that aren’t.
If you liked this post then you should also check out Social Media 4 Students.