Personal Branding 101
Personal branding isn’t just a pretty logo and a complementary colour scheme. A strong personal brand is ultimately what gets you a job or internship. Why? Because in this tough market — it is what gets you SEEN, HEARD and REMEMBERED. We need to make you visible in this competitive COVID market. So, are you ready to get cracking?!
'Your personality is your biggest weapon and no matter what way you dress it up (or down), as a creative, your personality becomes your brand. If you don't tell people you are there how will they find or see you?'
— Alec Dudson, Founder of Intern Magazine
WHY DO YOU NEED A PERSONAL BRAND?
- The market is competitive and you need to be SEEN
- You need to represent yourself to the world — professionally and with personality
- It solidifies who you are as a creative — thus making your direction and career trajectory clearer
When creating a personal brand (or even if you already have one) I want you to ask yourself these questions:
- Could your friends pick your personal brand out of a lineup?
- If you removed your image from your website, LinkedIn, professional Insta, socials etc. — would they still scream YOU?
I will give you a heads up ... the answer should be yes! So let's get to work...
To put the importance of personal branding into perspective, FYI Members Gabriella and Phoebe have just got their first jobs at Beauty Bay and Shreddy. Why? Aside from their incredible skillset, they both have strong, distinctive and professional personal brands that visually stand out. Check our their profiles:
Phoebe's creative CV that got her the role:
A PERSONAL BRAND CAN BE MADE UP OF THESE THINGS:
- Social (professional Insta, TikTok etc.)
- Business card
- CV and Cover Letter
- Any work you create needs your stamp...
- The language you use
- What you wear and how you look
- Your values and core beliefs
'Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room'
— Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
Businesses need promotion - just like the big brands like Apple or Adidas promote themselves, it is now your job to self-promote your personal brand! Getting to where you want to be is all about self-promotion and it starts with showing the world your powerful personal brand.
For example, I have the FYI logo on my phone case — why? Because I am always repping my brand and promoting my business. From selfie mirror shots to when I am in a cafe, I am ensuring I am seen and reminding people of the brand. Event when I did the first FYI TikTok, I ensured my phone case was in the shot - the devil is in the detail.
Personal branding isn’t just about your logo, colours, fonts, your business cards or the way your CV is designed. You have to have it running through EVERY touchpoint an employer, customer or client will see. I even brand my Mac so it's desktop is pink and my logo is everywhere! The key with a strong personal brand is consistency. Always remember the golden branding rules: be CONSISTENT and LIVE your brand.
Think about adding your personal branding to these areas:
- Icon on Gmail
- Icon on Zoom
- Icons on social
- The favicon on your website
- Background on your laptop (great when you take to an interview)
- Background on phone
- Logo (or brand colour) on a mug for Zooms
- Logo on your phone case
- Logo on a sticker (for your laptop, phone case, notebooks etc.)
- Branded business card holder
- Branded tote bag for carrying your laptop and sketchbooks to an interview
- Notebook in your brand colour
A PERSONAL BRAND SHOULD BE:
Wanna take your personal branding to the next level? I would recommend taking these next steps:
What makes your heart sing? What colours? What fonts? What design? What art? What brands?
- Define your Style
What is your style? Are you colourful and vibrant or sleek and minimal? It doesn’t matter which, just understanding where you sit (or don't sit) is a great starting point.
TOP TOP: To understand your style, think about what fashion brand is 'YOU'. Is it sleek and minimal like Chanel or vibrant and playful like Moschino? A great example of consistent and distinct fashion branding is By Megan Crosby.
- Find Inspo Elsewhere
Make a Pinterest board or a physical/digital mood board of all the things that make your heart sing and think about how that could be translated into your personal brand. Don't just look online — go through books and magazines, look around your room, go through your kitchen cupboards! We surround ourselves with things that are truly 'us'.
FINALLY, REMEMBER THESE THINGS:
- A personal brand doesn’t happen overnight. It is a working progress and just like you develop as a person, so does your brand. What is important is that you UNDERSTAND what makes you tick and what resonates with YOU so that you can keep building your brand.
- Try not to make your personal brand 'trend-focused' i.e. what is trending at the moment. You want your brand to be timeless and relevant in the years to come. For perspective, I created my freelance logo in my first year at Uni and I still use it today!
OTHER FYI MEMBERS AREA RESOURCES:
Did this help Honey?
If not, just post your question in the FACEBOOK GROUP and we will answer it within 24 hours. Better yet — you may even get other members responding with their prime knowledge!