I had a conversation with a university student the other day and asked him “Are you actively managing your personal brand?”, “Your what?” was his response.
So you’ve set the path for your future career, signed up for an internship, enrolled at uni, hey you may even have a junior position in your industry of choice BUT have you considered developing your personal brand?
Personal branding is an essential activity. I certainly believe it is, and even more so now in the highly connected social media selling world that we are finding ourselves in. The power and influence of social media platforms is growing exponentially. Josiane Feigon, President at TeleSmart Communications was recently quoted as saying “By the year 2020, 85 percent of buyer-seller interaction will happen online through social media and video“. So an online presence is important.
So the question I would like to pose is when do you need to start thinking of developing your own brand? My opinion is that we should start as soon as you leave school.
Perhaps developing is the wrong word to use, it may sound a little too structured and manufactured. It is probably more a case of when should we start to cultivate our online presence into a controlled environment where you can leverage off it in a professional environment i.e. start to promote and sell yourself. This is your opportunity to start forming your professional self, away from your personal Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.
I know what you are thinking: I’m too busy for this crap; it doesn’t apply to me, I’m only a student; I’ve nothing to put on there; and other poor excuses. Take the time at the start of your career to create your personal brand, get into the habit of maintaining it, capture your network from the very beginning and it will pay dividends.
Linkedin is a great place to start for those looking to enter into a professional workplace, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook are also great ways to connect if you’re entering a more creative industry. As a student you will find opportunities to contribute to forums, engage in discussions, follow trends and build a following via social media. This can translate into a strong point of difference when you’re being considered by a potential employer, or may even provide you with job opportunities directly.
Kai Schindlmayr is the Strategic Corporate Services Regional Leader for Savills in Australia & New Zealand, Kai is a guest blogger for The Breakfast Brief. Contact Kia on 0422 002 067 or firstname.lastname@example.org