The best way to develop your personal brand is to start with the basics. In my first three introductory posts for studentbranding.com, I will give one significant reason you should be developing a brand for yourself no matter the stage you’re at as a student.
The first reason personal branding is so important to your future success is simple, it’s a little thing called networking. Sure, it sounds simple and it is something you do every day, but I will challenge you to take your networking online to create contacts that are outside of your teachers, colleagues and professors.
Listed below are networking opportunities that can take you to the next level in your life and your career.
High School Students
Don’t think personal branding is important for you yet? Think again. What is the college that you are dying to get into? Got it? Here’s what you need to do: Become an ambassador for the college before you even get accepted. Develop a blog and write content about the college. It can be about their academics, their sports program, anything. Just show that you care and you’re keeping up with them. Then, take your blog one step further and share it with the college and people who go there. It’s easier than you think. Most colleges and universities have Facebook pages and Twitter pages. Interact with the community you find and bam! You’re already a giant steps ahead of other applicants.
Creating an online identity will help you interact with people working in the field you’re studying. I suggest creating a Twitter account and finding relevant people in your field to “follow” on Twitter. Once you’re following the thought leaders in your field, you will have a peek into their insights and also gain the ability to interact and share with them. Developing these online connections will no doubt help you land your first job, second job, and so forth after graduation.
By now you’ve been through the motions of college and now it’s time to get focused. You have a degree under your belt and you’re going one step further in continuing your education. Take the knowledge you have learned along the way and archive it through blog posts that relate to your major and the future career you’re dreaming of. Promote your blog to your professors and colleagues and create an online conversation through it. This will show your leadership and intellect while also opening the door to conversations with future employers.
I personally hold firm in the time-tested belief that at the end of the day, it’s all about who you know. When you are ready to take the next step in your life make sure you have a positive network supporting you. Networking online is indeed free, but I would much rather say it is priceless.
- Colleges on Twitter: http://twitter.com/higheredu
- Colleges on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/higheredu
- Book: Networking for Dummies: http://www.amazon.com/Networking-Dummies-Sixth-Doug-Lowe/dp/0764516779
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.