How to Perfect Your Personal Brand

Via Anna Rydne communicateskills.com

Via Anna Rydne communicateskills.com

This past week I had the chance to hear from Mindy Lockard, or the “Gracious Girl” as she’s branded herself as. Lockard is a nationally known etiquette expert. As a budding PR professional, it is important to have a polished and professional personal brand. Think of your brand as how others see you. Why is having a personal brand so important? It creates credibility and a reputation for yourself. Lockard gave us a wonderful presentation and I’d like to share some of my favorite pieces of advice with you.

On the web…

  • Social media is one of the most powerful tools to build your brand.
  • Be mindful of what the characteristics of your brand are. That’s what your content should be.
  • You are responsible for what other people post on your content, so clean up inappropriate comments if friends post them.
  • Always use correct grammar and never use profanity.
  • Have a relevant Twitter handle that people can find. Don’t just use random parts of your name.
  • Make sure the last 10 photos you posted are what you want people to see. (No “selfies.”)

In real life…

  • Learn to have conversations with people that do not actually get anything for you.
  • Speaking of that, do informational interviews.
  • Maintain eye contact with people. It communicates mutual respect.
  • Don’t use your phone. It gives people the impression your phone is more important than them.
  • Give firm handshakes, your full name and calling cards.
  • Always follow up with handwritten thank you notes.

In yourself…

  • Authenticity is one of the most important qualities in a person.
  • Don’t be afraid to be bold.
  • There is a big difference between confidence and arrogance.
  • Don’t be desperate: people can smell it a mile away.
  • Set high goals for yourself.
  • Go to events alone. It’ll bring you out of your comfort zone and let you meet people you might not of otherwise.

I hope these pieces of advice allow you to perfect your personal brand! I’m off to buy some thank you notes ASAP!

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