Lesson 3: What’s personal branding?

If brands can have personalities like people, can people be marketed like products?

When you look for a job, the greatest asset you bring to the table is…you!

In that way, we can take the lessons we’ve learned from product branding and apply them to our ourselves.

If you’re a college student your very livelihood could depend on having a strong personal brand:

  • Why would a potential employer hire you?
  • What is it that makes you special?
  • What skills do you bring to the table?
  • How do you dress?
  • How to you speak?
  • What hobbies do you have?
  • What jobs have you held?
  • Who are your references?

Dynamic Graphics magazine defines a personal brand as “the personal identity that stimulates a meaningful emotional response in another person or audience about the qualities or values for which that person or business stands.”

Your personal brand can be a snapshot of who you are right now, or a blueprint of what you hope to become. You’re not necessarily aiming for only “positive” brand attributes; some of the most powerful brands are for “niche markets,” where pure positivity isn’t always the goal.

Whether you like it or not, you have a personal brand, and these are just some of the factors that make up the sum of its parts. If the bad news is that you can’t control having a personal brand, perhaps the good news is that you can control whether it’s a great one.