It’s fine to be yourself on your own time. But to get serious about your career, you have to turn yourself into a brand when you’re in the public eye.
You know that you’re a real person, with hopes and dreams and fears and all of that. But broadcasting who that person is 24/7 isn’t the best career move you could make. If you want to reach high levels of success, you have to start working on your image right now. You have to learn how to turn yourself into a brand. The key is consistency.
The Digital Age
It has become the fashion for every person in the world to share every single thought they have and every action they complete with Twitter. It’s the in thing to tout all your pet causes on Facebook, not to mention show off that prize-winning crop of virtual corn you just harvested out-of-season. When sharing is possible, it leads quickly to over-sharing. Before you know it, you’ve lost all control of your image.
Don’t be reduced to the political pages you’ve liked and all the TV show hashtags you’ve contributed to over the past few months. Learn how to take control of your own online image, and brand yourself as the successful professional that you want to be. Living in the digital age gives you a lot of opportunities to over-expose yourself...but it also gives you an amazing opportunity to brand yourself and control exactly how the world views you.
If you want to turn yourself into a brand, it’s time to re-do all your profile pages. Image recognition is essential to brand-building. Use the same profile photo across all of your accounts. This way, your profiles will become instantly recognizable to anyone who is looking for you. This type of visual branding is especially useful for those who have common names that may be shared by other social media users.
Use the same bio for each of your accounts as well, and keep it professional. Remember that professional bios are written in the third person. You want to have a polished, presentable bio that highlights your credentials and shares only the most basic of personal information. For example: Job Seeker graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in agricultural engineering in 2010. Since then, Seeker has been working as a consultant for major horse farms in the Lexington area and contributes articles and reports regularly to agricultural magazines. Job Seeker currently makes his home in Richmond, Kentucky with two Irish wolfhounds.
A consistent photo and bio will go a long way toward building your brand. This consistency will make you more recognizable, and the professional presentation will show others that you take yourself seriously. This will also make it easier to single your social media profiles out against others who have names similar to your own.
Being a Pro
Consistency only goes so far. Remember to police your own social media accounts, and don’t share too much. Stay neutral, stay professional and remember that you’re a brand ambassador for yourself at all times. If you present yourself like a professional, that’s how others will treat you as well.