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The Elements of a Personal Brand

A brand, by nature, is a very abstract thing that you need for your job search with social media. Even companies struggle to put their brands into concrete terms. So this isn’t an exhaustive list of what a brand is. However, the concrete examples demonstrate how your brand can manifest in your life.

In-person brand elements

How people perceive your brand when they meet you in person is based on the following elements:

  • The way you act: Your actions are very much part of your image. Are you late, on time, or early? Is your body language confident? Do you smile a lot? Most importantly, are you really good at what you do?

  • The way you talk: The tone, speed, and inflection with which you talk can tie into people’s perceptions of you. Do you speak with a soft voice? Does your tone match someone of your social status or experience? Is your pace slow and confident or fast and high energy?

  • The way you dress: Your attire can define you as a person. Are you casual or formal? What colors do you wear? Do you sport a handlebar mustache and thrift-store outfits or keep clean-shaven and prefer designer wear?

  • Who you think you are: How you perceive yourself can come across to people subtly as they interact with you. What are you most proud of in your life? What do you value most? What do you consider to be your special talents and skills?

Online brand elements

The purpose of online brand elements is to show people who don’t really know you or have never met you in person who you really are. Your online brand elements manifest themselves in

  • The way you act online: Your online behavior clues people in to what you may be like in person. The way you act may include the state of your LinkedIn profile, your blog, your Facebook Timeline, or the first three pages of a Google search result of your name. Do you have a story to tell? How frequently do you post messages?

  • The way you talk online: Your online voice reflects how people hear your offline voice. For example, are you posting status updates on your profiles? If so, do your updates add value or are they silly? Are you aware of your audience when you post?

  • The way you present yourself: Presentation includes the way your blog looks and how professional your pictures are. Is there a font you’re fond of? If so, what does it communicate? Also, what do the colors in your blog or online résumé communicate? Are your photos cropped or professionally taken?

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