In this, the final week of COETAIL Course 2, my reading was directed to the idea of personal branding. Personal branding is way to market ourselves to others. Personal Branding 1o1: How to Discover and Create Your Brand by Dan Schawbel discusses how the rise of social networking and technologies has brought the idea of personal branding within our reach. His Personal Branding Toolkit consists of 10 elements that help you to highlight your brand and make it easily accessed by your target audience. The ten elements are:
- Business Card – including contact information and personal brand statement
- Resume – typical job interview documents
- Portfoli0 – digital or otherwise
- Blog or Website – should align with your name in some way
- LinkedIn Profile – “a moving living data base of your network”
- Facebook Profile – be careful of privacy settings
- Twitter Profile – avatar should be derived from your Facebook photo
- Video Resume – a short video of you promoting your brand
- Wardrobe – clothing should represent you
- Email Address – email address can promote your brand
So, in my mind, much of what we need to do in getting started with developing our personal brand is similar to what we do when we are applying for new employment. Basically, we have been branding ourselves for years, only now, with digital networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, we can get the information out instantly and to a much wider audience. Schawbel makes reference to the idea that we should develop networks before we need them and personal branding will have benefits that are lasting. Even though I’m currently employed, I certainly see how promoting myself in a positive way and making connections will help me to grow as a professional and ultimately be beneficial in the future.
Creating Your Personal Brand, by Jeff Utecht, offered some insight on why it is important for educators to begin thinking about their own brands and who their target audience or consumer group would be. He illustrates the importance of thinking through our brands by describing a dilemma that he faces with his current personal brand logo that appears on his website. He discusses that it was inspired when Web 2.0 was all the buzz a few years ago, but wonders if it is still relevant. He wants to make sure that his brand logo conveys the appropriate message about who he is.
The video included here is developed by William Aruda, The Personal Branding Guru, and discusses questions that must be addressed introspectively in “unearthing” your personal brand. The questions focus on three areas: motivation, positioning, and connections. Aruda stresses that brands are not fake, created just for the public, but are anchored in authenticity. In other words, your brand is who you really are.
The idea of personal branding connects seamlessly with how we are encouraging our students to build positive digital footprints. Today, the distinction between what is public and what is private is so vague that anything posted on the internet can potentially reflect elements of our personal brands. In my opinion, this clearly defines the importance of using social media as a vehicle for learning. While many of my students sill have no idea what career path they may take, teaching them to create a positive online presence gives them a head start in the development of their own personal brands.