This blog post was written by Kristi Atkinson, an Intern Queen summer intern and Campus Ambassador at the University of Idaho. You can connect with Kristi at http://about.me/kristi_atkinson
Everyone has a story, but not everyone has told their story. With today’s technology and social media platforms, storytelling is almost too easy.
This past weekend, I spent my time reading Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (2nd Edition) by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy. Deckers and Lacy start their book with the most important part: self-promotion.
Self-promotion is promoting yourself and your accomplishments. “The stories that surround us are all the first ingredient in building a strong personal identity that enhances our overall brand,” they said.
Though we may not have intentionally started to shape our brand, our Internet presence does it for us. Think of yourself as a brand such as Coca-Cola or Google. A brand is an emotional response to the image or name of a particular company, product or person. What kind of emotional response do you want people to have when they hear about you? What do you want to be known for?
Overall, self-promotion is not bragging; however, self-promotion is establishing a good reputation for yourself. Deckers and Lacy have a whole book’s worth of information to establish your personal brand, but I listed their five basic tips to establish your brand.
1. First ask yourself two questions: “What do I want to be known for?” and “What is my biggest passion/what gets me out of bed every morning?”
2. Create a list of those qualities. Brainstorm for five minutes and do NOT be humble about your qualities. Then start grouping things that are similar. These are the areas your brand you are going to focus on.
3. Tell your story: Lacy and Deckers said the best way to build your personal brand is to talk more about other people, events and ideas than you talk about yourself. If you talk about other people and promote other ideas, you become an influencer. The symbols and brands we wear and support tell a story for us. By blogging about your passion, you are telling the world you love that thing, without saying it over and over again.
4. Surround yourself with people with the same passion and network: Whether you are online or in person, treat everyone you meet as a possible future resource. Treat each of these relationships with care, help them grow and tell people your story.
5. Take Action: Start blogging or vlogging or podcasting. The first post might not be successful, but you can’t go anywhere without that first post. There are many different tools and technologies that you can use to tell your story
Extra: Write your autobiography: Think of it as an elevator pitch: you have 30 seconds to introduce yourself. Go! This will help you prioritize what is most important to you, what your best skills are, and what is your passion.
Check out Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (2nd Edition) for A LOT more information about your personal brand!