Your Personal Brand Matters… A Lot!

A Guest Post By Jason Mollica

You’ve probably heard that personal branding is not that important.  If you did, kindly toss that thinking out of your brain. Personal branding matters now; it matters tomorrow and it should matter the rest of your career.

In October, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) National Conference in Philadelphia on personal branding. My talk was titled, “CEO of You: Creating Your Personal Brand.” To take control of your personal brand, you need to think like a CEO, overseeing how you are perceived on social networks, deciding what social networks fit your brand, and can you be transparent.

How can you understand your brand?

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 10.24.54 AM

As you can see, the circles intersect. This means that if you have a good balance of these three, your personal brand becomes clearer. There should never be any confusion when it comes to your brand. If you think like a CEO, you’ll understand that you have to be the boss of your brand, not someone else.

In my “CEO of You” talk, I mentioned four characteristics that are very important to your brand.

  • Trust- It takes years to build and only seconds to destroy. This should be top of mind. Do things the right way the first time. It’s better to be last and right, than first and wrong.
  • Honesty- Be honest with yourself about the expectations of your brand. Do not oversell yourself or something you represent. If you overinflate your abilities, you’ll be found out fast.
  • Transparency- We stress to clients to be open and transparent. Your personal brand needs to be the same. There should be no way someone can look at you on social networks and say they don’t know who you are and what you represent.
  • Responsibility- Your personal brand can be very powerful and you need to understand that. It’s integral that you take responsibility for who you are and what you do in person, and as a professional on social networks. These networks may be free to access, but they can cost you dearly if you don’t handle them properly.

On Nov. 12, #PRStudChat took on the topic of personal branding. Jessica Lawlor was the guest moderator and helped guide the discussion. Check out the Storify that was created to learn some other important tips.

One last tip: Make sure you are passionate about your brand. People gravitate towards passion. If you aren’t passionate, you’ll have a hard time with anyone buying into what you are posting.  Love what you do and you can truly enjoy being the CEO of You!

Jason MollicaJason Mollica is the president of JRMComm, a public relations and social media marketing consultancy, located in a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y. He combines knowledge of the broadcast news industry, traditional public relations expertise, and today’s new and innovative social media tools to assist client in maximizing their full potential. Follow him on Twitter and check out his blog.