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.
- 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!