When I first heard heard the term “Personal Brand” it conjured up visions of social media influencers, PR gurus, Hollywood agents, and fashion entrepreneurs. A group of people whose livelihoods depended on networking and projecting a certain image of themselves. As someone whose job takes place mostly behind a keyboard or a phone, I never thought I’d have a need for something like that. But as this Ted Talk from Talaya Waller explains, in a competitive job market, your personal branding might be the differentiator between landing that gig and not.
Waller points out that millennials are the most professionally agile generation. Unlike previous generations that spent decades in the same job, the average millennial will have 10-15 different jobs throughout their lifetime! That means that in comparison to our parents, we’ll have to pivot, shift, and pitch ourselves more frequently throughout our lifetimes. Waller points out that this was predicted by Tom Peters, personal branding pioneer of the 70’s. He said that future professionals would use the same technology as large corporations do to market themselves. We’re at that convergence now, with individuals having the ability to leverage the same social media, marketing, advertising, search, web, and other tools that large companies do. You can buy the same ad space right next to Nike’s!
Okay, so a personal brand’s important, but what is it and how do you start to shape it? In this Ted Talk from Tai Tran, he describes the personal brand as the intersection of perception and reality. Ultimately, it needs to be lead by your voice, and supported by an interconnected web that includes your personality, passions, and interests. An easy exercise would be to think of what the 7 emojis that represent you best would be.
The 3 core tenets to maintaining and building that brand are to:
- Embrace your identity
- Create value for your audience
- Grow your relationships
If your brand-building comes from a place of sincerity and authenticity, then the idea of building a personal brand will seem less fake or phony. There are different ways you can work on this, from creating original content to hosting events. One way to get started can be working on your visual brand. This can include working on your website or social media profiles and starting to select color palettes, graphics, logos, or other visual material to start to build a look that you can ultimately build a brand around. This will likely change and evolve as you get better, so it’s important to just start somewhere that feels good to you and go from there.
With that in mind, for this month’s newsletter freebie, I wanted to design a simple but effective banner template for LinkedIn profiles. I wanted to create something that was both feminine and strong; I had in mind a boss, CEO, entrepreneur, taking care of business. This easy-to-use Canva template is fully editable and can be remixed so that you can make it your own. You can experiment with different color palettes, fonts, and image frames to see what feels most like your personal brand. If you follow these dimensions and the basic layout, it’ll pair with your LinkedIn profile image so that the important parts aren’t getting obscured. If you’re not already signed up for the newsletter, you can do so below to get instant access to the template.
Don’t want to sign up? Buy the set here:
How do you feel about personal branding? Post in the comments and drop me an image if you remixed the banner for yourself! In the meantime, wishing you light and love on your journey. Namaste!