Make a Name for Yourself: How to Build Your Personal Brand

Exams are nearly over, and that means many young students like yourself are ready to take on the world! But where to even begin? Whether you’re looking to start your career, carry on with further education, or even taking a break, now is the time to start building your personal brand.

What is a Personal Brand?

When you think about a brand, you probably imagine a company with a recognisable name, logo, style or product/service. See a red letter ‘K’? That’s Kellogg’s! A big, yellow ‘M’? McDonalds! Don’t forget, we also have Milo at the Future Toolbox too. The thing is, a brand doesn’t have to be for a business or a product, a brand can be YOU.

We are in the age of influencers, content creators, and online artists! I’m sure that when you’re scrolling through social media, you see so many people at a similar age as you, creating ‘brands’ of themselves. Now, we’re not saying you need at least a million followers on Instagram to create a successful personal brand. It’s about standing out in work, job interviews, university applications, and even in other more personal/social settings. Your personal brand is all about how you want to present yourself to the world, so put your best foot forward!

Step 1 – Make a Plan

Take the time to plan out what you want to do to make some noise and show the world who you are! Once your exams are over, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and form an idea of what you want to do and achieve next. Building a personal brand takes time at first but you will build momentum. Keep your goals realistic, and remember to have fun exploring who you are and showing the world just that.

You could try journalling to help plan your next steps. Create notes, schedules, and write down your ideas to keep yourself on track. If you want to give this a go, our book, How to Bullet Journal: Or BuJo for Short, can help you easily incorporate journaling into your daily routine.

Step 2 – Network and Create Connections

Online and offline, networking is a must for getting your name out there. Introduce yourself to new people and engage with others about topics and industries you’re interested in. Be open to forming new connections, you make even be able to build new friendships!

It might seem contradictory at first, networking is about finding potential opportunities after all. You also never know what connection you will benefit from, so putting yourself out there and focusing on creating a good personal brand first is key.

Step 3 – Be Open to New Experiences

There is no better way to build a personal brand, than through experiences that show what kind of person you are. Experiences can come in all shapes and forms, it’s not just jobs. Volunteering and being involved in the community is a fantastic way to show a positive brand of yourself. It also allows those with no work experience to be able to add this to their CV.

Explore hobbies, get creative and push yourself! While it is good to focus your brand on an industry that you are keen to break into, adding some diversity to your experience doesn’t hurt. It shows you as an interesting, jack-of-all-trades kind of person! Don’t be shy, be open about what interests you! 

Step 4 – Keep your Brand Positive

We’ve all heard the horror stories of social media posts getting people fired. The biggest rule of the internet is that once it is there, it’s there forever. Always consider what you say and do publicly on sites where potential employers or educators can google you. Even on lighter subjects, does a cinema want to hire someone who openly dislikes every film they watch? No! They want someone enthusiastic!

When networking or gaining experience, it is important to make a positive impression. Being a decent person to be around is often enough. That doesn’t mean that you always need to force a smile, just be considerate towards others and make a good impression.

Making a Name for Yourself (seems scary!)

Showing everyone who you are and what you can offer can be a bit uncomfortable at first. Your mind can trick you into feelings of self-doubt. What if I am not good enough? Will people think I’m interesting? What if I am too shy? These feelings are normal to experience! Even an expert on top of their game can feel like an imposter. But if there is one final tip to building a personal brand, it is confidence. Believe in who you are, what you have done, and what you can do!

For more information on this topic

Listen to our ‘B for Build Your Brand | Make a Name For Yourself’ podcast episode.

Z to A of Life Skills Podcast with Mark and Jules Kennedy.

Follow us on social media!

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