Let's talk about personal branding. Last week, I had coffee with a younger friend who was seeking advice on how to get started in her career. I told her one of the most helpful things you can do is figure out what your personal brand is. I asked her how she would describe herself. She didn't really know where to start and most people don't.
The conversation then turned into what she loves to pin, what blogs she follows, where she shops, what subjects she excels in, what magazines she reads, what kinds of people she spends her time with, what she does in her spare time and more. Discovering your personal brand is all about exploring your passions and your interests.
You are a uniquely crafted person who has curated an incredibly specific personality from the millions of inspirations and influences out there. The trick is the to find a trend amongst all of your descriptive adjectives and shape that into what I am calling your "brand."
I share this word cloud with you to give you an idea of the brand I associate myself with. In fact, this here blog was created to explore, expand and explain my personal brand that is "mackenzie charlotte."
So how does one create a personal brand?
1. Write down the top five things you want the world to know about you. Those are the pillars of your brand.
Here are my top five:
-I am classically feminine with a modern twist.
-I am technologically savvy with a focus on digital marketing and social media strategy.
-I am incredibly ambitious in pursuing a career in consumer goods and luxury products.
-I am seeking to cultivate my expertise in fashion, art and wine.
-I am inspired by strong, creative and optimistic women.
2. Once you've figured out your pillars, use those to create a short explanation of who you are. This "elevator statement" is the key to strategic networking. When you first meet with someone, you have approximately 30 seconds to make a first, lasting impression.
3. Sync all of your online networks to connect under your brand. Make sure that you are promoting a similar voice and message across all platforms. That means, take down the pictures of you doing "dirty girl scouts" on Facebook, stop tweeting profanities and keep your content clean on Tumblr. Unless of course, you are going for that kind of image in your brand, then by all means... keep doing what you are doing.
4. Create a blog. Blogging can seem like a lot of work, but it really is what you make of it. It is one of the strongest platforms for you to create and shape your online presence.
Once you have figured out what your brand is... own it. My biggest piece of advice in this process is be original.
I heard this quote the other day...
"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."
That is the ticket, my friends! Happy branding.