How To Create Your Personal Brand

July 30, 2015 - 3 minutes read
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International personal branding leader and mentor Beverly Bond, CEO, Black Girls Rock and Black Girls Lead pictured with JinJa Birkenbeuel, CEO of Birk Creative at Soledad Obrien’s Accelerate with Google-sponsored PowHERful Conference, New York City, July, 2015.

In today’s world, a brand can be one of three things: personal, business, or institutional. Here is Birk Creative CEO JinJa Birkenbeuel’s take on personal branding, the first of a multi-part series on this critical aspect of modern life.

Personal Branding: Do It Right, It’s Your Life

When it comes to personal branding, the brand is yourself. It’s how you represent yourself in public and online a.k.a. public-facing information. As in, this is who I am, how I speak, how I take care of myself, and how I present myself when I’m in a business environment. “It’s what you discuss during a business dinner or at lunch with your coworkers,” says Birkenbeuel. “It’s also about what you’re posting on Twitter and other social media platforms. All of this tells a story about who you are.

“The key to your personal brand is to make sure it aligns with what you do, your goals, and your aspirations. This is more important than ever. If you want to have a successful long-term career and your Twitter feed is full of drinking stories, it won’t work—unless maybe you are working for a spirits or craft beer company.”

This brings up another aspect of personal branding: how does your personal brand align with your career if you work for a larger brand? “Employees at all levels of a business, even high-level executives that work for large global brands must be cognizant of their digital footprint,” says Birkenbeuel. “What you share online is what people see and they will make up their own stories based on that. Once you hit send, post or share, you are no longer in control.

So, think before you publish. Share positive experiences, informative content couched with thoughtful insights, and show yourself at your best. And, remember, partying and social media do not mix when you are creating your professional and personal brand story.