Personal Branding for Community Volunteers
Volunteers are a noble bunch, and you can tell a lot about a person’s character by how she gives her time in service. Personal branding encompasses all aspects of your life. Therefore, how you volunteer your time, as well as which community you serve, becomes part of that brand.
If you identified your values, purpose, and mission as part of your personal brand, you’ve already pinpointed what has meaning for you and know where you want to put your time. Working your personal brand means that you align your life so that what you do and how you communicate make sense for you. Giving your time and money in service can become part of that alignment plan.
Consider the example of a woman in her fifties who has a personal brand as a strong leader. She has pioneered women’s programs in her workplace and has struggled to obtain a professional status.
Her community service efforts both as a volunteer and in how she donates her money follow her brand. She volunteers at a low-income women’s entrepreneurial training program and gives money to Planned Parenthood. She supports other causes as well, but these are her signature projects, and everyone knows her for her efforts here. Her volunteer work is on brand for her.
You need to volunteer with the same standards as you would have in the workplace. You can damage your reputation and your brand by behaving badly as a volunteer by being lazy, complaining, or having poor follow-through.
Instead, you want to become known for your character, for the good deeds you do as a volunteer, and/or for the causes you support. Volunteering is one of the best ways to build your brand, widen your community, expand your network, and serve the greater good.