How to build personal brand for college students. Why is it important?
Let us swallow this truth that we all have a brand. Being a fresh graduate I did not knew what is personal branding as a college student I happened to know when I started posting and experimenting on LinkedIn and I was astonished with the impact and results it created. And that’s how I am inspired today to do what I do.
Yeah. I get it. This term is so popular but why do people talk about it?
See, the world is full of opportunities and if you don’t show your authentic self then you are missing out on so many things.
Here comes the importance of personal branding for college students as well. Personal Branding is for every one and students can use this as a tool to land opportunities. I mean it.
But, let us understand what personal branding is.
So, simply put: Personal branding is your reputation. It is a unique combination of your experiences, skills, knowledge and personality.
Do me a favor and ask yourself these questions-
What image are you trying to create for yourself?
How do people see you? What do they think about you?
I was already building my personal brand before I even knew that I was building one (technically). But it made my vision more clearer when I started to actually build one with a focused approach.
I am sharing my steps that allowed be to craft a personal brand which helped me land opportunities as a fresh graduate at times when I was desperately searching for jobs.
Select your niche or define your audience.
If you do not know your audience, don’t worry, I did not knew either. It may happen in the early stage but defining the audience is so crucial for you to become a personal brand. Your personal brand is not for everyone.
Trust me, you don’t want to do all the hard-work for the people who are not going to look up to you. That’s exactly I was doing when I was producing content for a social media platform.
“Keep in mind that like attracts like”.
Selecting your niche will help you create engagement with your personal brand within your industry, because those people would be one who will be looking up to you and will help you to build your reputation in your industry.
If you try to please everyone, you will end up doing for no one. It all starts there and then it expands. One of the best personal brands that I have seen are very specific about what they want to say and do.
For example in my case, I was getting inspired by so many things on everyday basis so I started to put out content. Guess what it worked! But not in the way that it could help me. Because I didn’t knew my audience.
The metrics were barely numbers in the form of likes and comments but every time the people were different because what I used to put every time was different (not specific) and kept on changing. It did not position me as an “EXPERT” in my field.
Keep in mind-“the narrower is your audience, then it’s good” !
I then started to put out educational content on specific topics and in my case it was personal branding and digital marketing and I noticed same kind of people returning to my posts and engaging with me most of the time.
So where you should start?
By putting out yourself at something which you can do better than others.
Pick something which you have accomplished for example in my case I figured out the what is the right career for me that I should go for and I can talk about it for hours.
I can give you hours of lectures if you are an undergraduate who does not know what to do with his/her life.
For example if you are good at coding then help people in knowing how do you build crazy applications and start to produce content around coding and building stuff!
Live your brand.
The best brands I have seen are truly the ones who live their brands. It is so hard to separate them from their brand identity.
I will be honest with you, I have seen many college students who have built there brands have gone so far in their careers. Also, they have cut their competition by sharing who they are and presenting their skills. In fact they went so far in their career that they outshine students who are from premium institutes.
One thing you need to make sure is that you do not want to create facade of having a personal brand for the sake of having one.
I have done this mistake too. So keep these pointers in mind-
You may find similar people like you all over the world but what separates them from you, is your USP.
Your “own set of values, experiences and knowledge, that are unique to you.”
Share your unique story.
So inject your originality from your past experiences and from who you actually are, when you build your brand.
Oh and yes one more thing ! Do not create two images of your self. Be the same person , whether it is online or offline. Show your authentic self. These world’s are different so make sure to tackle latter one more nicely, if you would like to take my suggestion.
Crafting and designing your brand’s identity.
“World is noisy and we need to stand out”- Steve Jobs
And I totally believe in that, so what could possibly help you to stand out from other people in your industry?
Let me tell you a secret- It is your vision and mission for which you stand for.
There is so much competition that already exists where you are trying to position yourself.
For example search for “Neil Patel” on google, well that’s my favorite because I am from online space as well. But just type in (or you can try something else).
What do you see ?
He rules all over the google for digital marketing. Why aren’t there any other digital marketers around the world?
But do you know what is his USP?
Apart from working for big names, he is passionate to solve online business problems for small business owners who do not have thousands of dollars for advertising their business. And he is known for that.
Having a strategy.
For your ideal people to find you, it is important that you should have strategy behind your content.
- Being consistent– One of the most important factor when you are building your personal brand is your consistency. Showing up consistently for your target audience will help you to exposed to more and more people in your industry which will help you to network better and land more opportunities.
Also it is a long term strategy when you are in the process of building your personal brand.
- Share your story in order to educate– Since childhood we love stories, you and me are both inspired by stories and the world is no different.
Since your experiences are unique to you. Now it’s your turn to share how did you come out of your problems.
What steps did you take and why did you take? What helped you and what broke you? All of these questions are essential when it comes to your personal brand.
Provide value– Providing value will help you to gain trust among the people. Whatever you do and share for the people make sure to provide value.
For example in my case I do not shut up when some one asks me about how to grow online?
I always try to over deliver to the person.
P.S I am so glad that I have explored personal branding at the time when I was desperately looking to work as a fresh graduate.
When I started out to post on Linkedin, I did not knew the importance of personal brand and how it can help you to land opportunities.
I experienced all of these practiced tactics that I am sharing with you are after trying and testing. Don’t believe me?
Start building one and you will see the results! Building a personal brand is not only for college students, it is for everyone!
Results of personal brand are astonishing. Don’t believe me try for yourself, as you are all set to build your brand after reading this post.