Probably a topic that will forever be relevant for any future or current professional is personal branding. I don’t think there could have been a better person to speak on this topic other than one of OC Metro Magazine’s 40 Professionals Under 40, Matt Prince. Currently the social media manager for The Walt Disney Company, Prince encouraged his audience to think of having a ‘You’ company with themselves as the client. Similar to businesses’ transformation to becoming more like individuals, we have to think like companies. The good and bad news, as pointed out by Prince, is that you’ve been branding ‘you’ your whole life.
For starters, Prince breaks down a personal brand into five essential pieces.
Prince was kind enough to give us the ten secrets to making sure these five pieces come together to create a successful personal brand:
1. Find Yourself: Create a road map to where you want to go. You know the SWOT analysis you do for companies? Do one for yourself. Use your personal SWOT analysis to help with creating your road map.
2. Make an Impression: Prince advises you to live everyday like it’s your first date. You want your first impression to be everything. In order to make a great impression, you should always have your branding kit prepared. What do you need in the kit? An elevator pitch, resume, blog, website, business cards and even breathe mints.
3. Do Social Right: Don’t make the mistake of thinking social media is a strategy, it’s only a tool. And each of these tools (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) are used to highlight a different side of yourself. Use them correctly. Lastly, Prince says you should: listen, reply, expand and leverage.
4. Be Narrow Mind: Simple. Follow the plan you made for yourself.
5. Be a Content Creator: You want to be the sender, not the messenger. Provide the content to guide people to the ‘You’ company. Retweeting isn’t enough, if possible, create the conversation.
6. Be a Storyteller: A common theme in PR is telling stories. Telling a simple, truthful story will help you get remembered.
7. Take It Offline: Don’t rely on your online networking to be enough. Leave the computer and have in-person conversations. Shake some hands and exchange some cards. Believe it or not, face-to-face communication is still very much alive and sometimes the most effective.
8. Repetition of Reputation: Be consistent. All five pieces of your brand should portray the same message and image.
9. Know Your Audience: Update your tool bag and be able to adapt. No two resumes should be the same, just like two businesses aren’t exactly the same.
10. Have Fun!: The moment you stop having fun, you should look for a new job.
“Your brand is not what you do. But what people think you do.”
For Matt’s full presentation, click here.