Friday, May 30, 2014

Top 4 Personal Branding Tips

By Sarah Blinco

Sarah Blinco is editor of TravelLiveLearn.com (www.travellivelearn.com), and creator of Media Bootcamp (www.sugoimedia.com/mediabootcampusa) which is a digital training tool designed to get you on the fast-track to your dream career. She's worked in publishing and radio and is always happy to answer questions - you'll find her at www.facebook.com/travellivelearn or Tweet @sarahblinco


Personal branding is so important. How you present yourself on and offline can make a big difference to your chances of scoring that dream job or work placement!

It is a critical element, that can often mean the difference between you being selected for a job or not. In this digital age, it’s also crucial to start managing personal branding early in life, especially if you aim to work in media, write, blog or pursue endeavors in the public eye. When I first started out and got my foot in the publishing door, one of the reasons I was given a chance was because I was well presented in my interview – unlike, I discovered later, others who had turned up in flip flops and presenting no evidence of etiquette or style.

Personal branding: what you should put into practice:

1. Brand yourself online – Go to your profiles and imagine that you’re a prospective employer – is everything professional, consistent, easy to follow and branded with your name, logo (if relevant), information on you and a contact form or email address? Are you proud of what’s showcased? If not, amend it pronto.

2. Offline presentation – Do you have or need business cards? If so, do they include all relevant information on you, including social media links and your website? VistaPrint is just one site that offers an inexpensive, quick and professional solution to business cards and other branding items, so there is no excuse for not being prepared when you’re out there promoting your skills. Even if you are attending college after school, it's not a bad idea to have some personal cards made up, especially if you are aiming to secure work in publishing or media where age matters less than experience and profile.

3. Be consistent with your personal branding. Know who you are talking to (your audience), who you want to help and what knowledge you have to share. This is particularly important across your blog and social spaces which showcase to the world – and importantly, potential employers or future editors – what you can do and what you know.

4. Do you have a niche or point of difference? That is, an area you know a little extra about than someone else does. This might be politics, cooking, fashion, travel, TV, and ideally you’ll know about a more precise segment of a larger topic. For example, perhaps you are an expert plus-size fashion stylist which is how you angle your fashion features; or you write about vegan lifestyles (rather than just a broad topic of ‘food’ or ‘recipes’), or you write about the paranormal television genre rather than just TV in general. Your niche will be evident within branding across your blog, social media strands and anything else connected to you in the digital space and real life. Owning a niche will help you to stand out from the crowd, and enable you to position yourself in a corner of a market where you can become the expert (and hired for the jobs you want at any age).

Is personal branding something you've given much thought to? Have you had ideas about what makes you (and your stories) unique?


8 comments:

  1. Personal branding is something I've thought about a little bit, which is why I use my real name on most writing websites. I very consciously picked @SarahFaulknr on Twitter instead of @SarahTheWriter or @Booklover97 or some such name. I try to present the same face on all social media, with the same photo, (of me, not just a stack of books or something) a link to my blog, and the same fonts and color scheme found on me blog (if applicable.)
    Thank you so much for guest posting here, Ms. Blinco! We really appreciate it!

    ~Sarah Faulkner

    inklinedwriters.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm super impressed (but not surprised), Sarah. You're one smart girl :)

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    2. Thanks, Stephanie! That means a lot.

      ~Sarah

      p.s. I meant *my blog* not *me blog.* I'm not a pirate.

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    3. LOL, Sarah! Arrgghh! I love seeing this same picture of you everywhere online, btw. I'm always like, "Oh that Sarah!" because I recognize you.

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    4. Or you could have an Irish accent, which us what I always think when I hit e instead if y...:) Those are good ideas, Sarah. :)

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  2. I've started personal branding a little bit, but not a whole lot, seeing as I don't have social media. I just use my pen name all the time, that's pretty much the extent of it.

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  3. Yes. Personal branding is certainly something I've considered. (I majored in marketing, so no surprise there.) Everything Sarah said has been part of my plan. Now that I've determined what I desire my writing niche to be, I've also started being purposeful about presenting myself as a "professional" on that subject across my social media platforms. The side bonus of that is attracting people who are interested in that topic. We have lots of fun talking and learning from each other.

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  4. Really glad to see you are all onto this and forging a plan of action. Thanks for reading and for your comments :-)

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