If you’re familiar with the term brand, then you may be familiar with how it can reflect and shape a business. We see Target, a red circular logo with a dot in the middle-representative of the brand’s name: Target. Their soft warm lighting and open floor plan, and willingness to appeal to their demographic consumers is shown in their merchandise and store layout. You don’t see any sort of political statements being pushed, or items that veer on cultural insensitivity. It’s a brand you can trust. You feel safe letting your teenage daughter roam around with her friends while you shop in groceries, knowing nothing will happen because of the soft layout and comforting environment that Target has created.
They have built this brand over a few decades, but how does a big corporation brand resonate with someone’s personal brand? What is a personal brand? How does this impact the way people view us and how we interact with the world? Is it possible to change your online identity, your online personal brand without upsetting your current clientel and demographic?
I wanted to find out, but first I needed to get a better understanding on personal branding.
Someone’s personal brand is who they appear to be from an outside source, it’s quite literally if you look and act a certain way, you will be taken for that way. I would say Cher and Dolly Parton have extremely iconic personal brands, before the term personal brand was even a thing. They know who they are, and they own it. But for us regular normal folk, finding words and descriptive terms to define us can feel challenging. Especially if people already assume they know everything about you based on how you speak and act, and the way you look.
With social media, we can control some of this, while not being able to get rid of complete bias, we can also create and curate the ‘life’ or person we want people to believe we have.
There are three key factors in building a personal brand: Who you are, What you do, and What you want (aka Your goal). By working from the outside to inwards we can evaluate ourselves in a way that we want others to value us as well.
This is how I’d love to be seen in the world:
Rina Lo is a qualified business woman with a background in social media and marketing. She uses her various creative skills and time management to enact change and meet deadlines that fit the market demographics of _____ brand(s). She’s pursuant of multiple ventures and studies finance in her free time.
To give an example as to what I want my own personal brand to be, I created a short document which you can use yourself! I defined the words which I felt suited me, what I do, and what I want to do in a clear and concise way that I could easily follow through with and share.
The goal behind this exercise was to get a real grounding in how my skills could be applied in a way that makes my application resonate with corporate HR in an easy way, but also in case I decided to pursue a freelance business building out a marketing portfolio on my own.
I found that the term micro-influencer, while applicable to me, wasn’t where I saw myself in 5-10 years. Yet working with finance and marketing, possibly in real estate, was the career path I saw for myself long term.