Branding Yourself

By Julie Price

July 21, 2014 4 min read

It's probably safe to say that this Internet thing isn't going away any time soon. In fact, more than likely, the first question you'll be asked by a potential employer these days is, "Do you have a link to your website or a social media page?" Remember the days of, "From which college did you graduate?" and "Send me your resume and I'll take a look"? These were the "olden days" of job searching. Well, they are quickly slipping further and further into the past. Now people don't just want to read a resume; they want links, photographic proof and even video content to show them exactly what you can do.

If you use this to your advantage, you've got a huge leg up on your competition. You should create an account on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, and depending on your brand, Pinterest might be beneficial, as well. Obviously, there will be some add-ons if you're in the creative fields. If you are a videographer, you should have a Vimeo account. For music, TV hosting or to show other demo reels, you should have a YouTube account. If you're a writer, make sure to have an active blog and a Tumblr page. Comedian? Start developing your Vine persona immediately.

The amount of places to show your skills online can feel a little overwhelming. But anything worth doing is worth doing well, and considering that this is often the first impression people have of you, it's worth taking time to set up all platforms and to spend roughly 10-30 minutes per day updating them across the board. HootSuite is a great way to set up lots of tweets for the day and week. Through the app, you can schedule your all your posts for the day in the mornings, leaving you with the rest of the day to concentrate on other aspects of your brand. The only downside of that (especially if you're someone who has a job for which staying current is important, e.g., news reporting) is that it takes away from the allure of real-time tweets.

But before you go and start setting up or looking back at your accounts, make sure that everything is cohesive. Pick your brand's looks, intention and overall feel. See who is similar to what you're going for and make sure to follow them. Stay consistent, not only with your tweets but with your content. Check out Canva; it’s still free, and you can design cover photos for nearly every social media site. Your photos and tone of voice should always stay the same. Think about it this way: People want a reason to come back. If one day you are very Kate Middleton and the next you've gone all Miley Cyrus, people are going to lose interest -- especially a potential boss.

I've been lucky enough to make my living off of music -- but this only came from my consistency with social media. I've built up a solid and dedicated fan base through YouTube, Vine, Facebook, Instagram, etc. It's a full-time job, but it's still the job that I designed for myself. Because of my social media presence, I've been lucky enough to work with some pretty cool brands, including Gap, Oral-B and more.

If you go to the gym once per week, you will barely maintain what you build each time you go. Your brand works the same way. Again, consistency, consistency, consistency will get you results. Every post should have a message or strategy behind it. You're not posting photos of you and your college buddies taking vodka shots on the weekend anymore. (Hey, unless you work for Tito's Vodka ... then go for it!) Take a good solid hour to delete or set to private the photos that you wouldn't want anyone other than your best friends to see. Trust me on this; people have lost the chance for an interview because of their Facebook photo albums. It's not necessarily fair, but it is the way things work today.

Good luck out there! Or I guess I should say, #goodluck!

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