When developing a personal brand, it is best to start with the basics and go from there. In this three-part blog series, I have already established two of the three personal branding basics: developing a strong network and managing your online reputation.
In the final post for this series, I will cover the third personal branding basic: communication.
Using communication within your network is key. Communication will strengthen the connections you have already made, as well as help you make future connections outside of your current network. Communication also helps strengthen your online reputation because it gives your personal brand more depth.
Communication, like networking, is something we already do every day. Nonetheless, there are always opportunities to further improve your communication skills.
Here are a few pointers for great communication:
General Tips and Tricks:
- Always use proper grammar and double-check your spelling when communicating online. Double check the e-mails and messages you send to other people, regardless of who they are. The way you communicate via e-mail says a great deal about your professionalism. Avoid using too many exclamation points, particularly when writing to professors or professional contacts.
- Don’t just be a one-way communicator. It is important for you to “give back” to your network and share others’ ideas with the rest of your network in case someone else can help or give great feedback. Equally important is responding to others who reach out to you with ideas or for advice. You never know who will swoop in to help you out in the future!
- Think of communication as a tool. You have to use it the right way for it to work. Make sure you communicate your points and don’t add too much fluff. Make a case with your writing and use it to showcase your strengths. Strong writing skills are an asset that any company would want to have in a future employee.
Personal Branding Basics: Let’s Review
- It’s all about networking
- It’s all about managing your online reputation
- It’s all about communication
Starting with the basics is the only way to develop the rest of your personal brand successfully. It is important to keep in mind that you cannot build the perfect brand overnight; it takes time to develop something great. Having patience goes a long way when it comes to developing your personal brand. Don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way and never lose sight of who you are. After all, no one is better at being you than you!
Jamie Mitcham is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University and the current communications coordinator at Casady School in Oklahoma City. Connect with Jamie on Twitter at @JamieMitcham and read the rest of her bio here: http://studentbranding.com/contributors.