The Elements of a Personal Brand
A brand, by nature, is a very abstract thing. Even companies struggle to put their brands into concrete terms. If you’re new to the idea of a personal brand, having concrete examples of how your brand can manifest in your job search and life is helpful.
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? Are you a thrift store junkie?
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 are 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, 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 (and how often) 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: This may include 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?