Defining a personal brand forces you to start thinking about who you are. Cliché? Yes, but aren’t we supposed to figure out “who we are” in our twenties? A personal brand won’t help you figure that out, but it WILL help you name your core values and personality traits. You may not know where you are going in life right now, but it is absolutely NOT okay to waste this time.
Your personal brand will help you rock all of those future job interviews. You’ll also be able to find a company that upholds your values and is going to support your brand. You’ll be able to market yourself to future employers and potential spouses. What is sexier than someone who has a clear sense of self? How are you supposed to find a spouse or company with your same values if you’ve never actually identified them? Writing them down on paper and thoroughly reflecting on them gives you a much clearer idea of what you’re looking for in life.
As you go through this process remember that you are trying to display your true self. Do not try to be something you’re not. You are too old for that. A genuine brand will last longer and be easier to maintain.
How to define your personal brand:
1: Identify 3 words and a color that you would use to describe yourself
I used this color meaning chart to help me pick a color that I felt thoroughly described who I am. We subconsciously associate meanings with colors so pick one that represents who you are, not just what looks good on you.
2: Ask other people for 3 words and a color
Be sure to ask a variety of people (coworkers, school friends, sorority/fraternity sisters/brothers, family, other friends). This allows you to see consistencies and get a better picture of who you are.
3: Look at your favorite brands and identify why you like them.
What draws you to them? How do they help you express who you are?
What values do you associate with that brand? This is a really great place for you to think about your values. Do you value quality? Loyalty? Family?
4: Pick your color(s). This decision should be based on responses from your peers, family, etc, not just the color you chose for yourself in step 1.
Wordle is a free website that creates word charts. Simply put in all the words you received from friends and family and values you chose for youself. Try to pick a single word for synonyms. For example, instead of using ‘outgoing’ and ‘gregarious’ I put ‘gregarious’ in twice (the more times the words appears in your list, the larger the word will be on your chart, you’ll want these bigger words for you brand later). Use the color(s) that you chose in step 4.
The chart will help you visualize your brand. It’s a temporary/working logo of sorts.
6: Pick the biggest words to use to define your personal brand. Some were the same size which allowed me some freedom of choice. Props to freedom!
And there you go! At this point, you should have a rough personal brand that you can use for anything in life.
What do you do now?
Build and maintain your brand through social media, blogging, and everything else you do in life. Ensure that you are consistently representing the brand that you have made for yourself. Consistency allows people to trust you more because they see the same core values and personality traits in you all of the time (with variations for exhaustion and frustrations of course).
What is your personal brand? How has defining a personal brand helped you find success?
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