Personal Branding: it’s hard to miss all the buzz on the topic, but you may still be wondering what it is and why you need to think about it.
Tom Peters, the author who first discussed the concept of personal branding, did a good job of summing it up when he wrote, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc.”* Like a company that works to differentiate its brand and products, you, essentially, need to make you stand out. In an increasingly competitive, global economy, it makes sense that college applicants and job seekers who can distinguish themselves by effectively communicating their reputation, style, opinions, and skill will be those who rise above the noise.
So why should you care about personal branding? Every time you create a killer presentation for a classroom project, a poster to drive attendance to an important cause, or even a website for an entrepreneurial venture, it is a reflection on you and a step in building your personal brand. Your words and actions; your skills, knowledge, and experience; the things you’re passionate about and the manner in which you express that passion all contribute to the perception of who you are. Without a visibly unique value proposition and way to communicate it, you will simply blend in with everyone else. Or worse, due to the proliferation of publicly available data online, be viewed in a negative light.
Sound intimidating? You may think you don’t have the technology skills that support building a personal brand, but that is where Adobe can help. Visit “Adobe & You,” a site designed to provide all the tools necessary to experiment, refine and perfect your personal brand, starting with a collection of tutorials to get you from newbie to expert. You can learn how to create a logo that speaks to your interest and expertise, a t-shirt to promote your favorite club, an amazing Facebook cover photo and so much more. And what better way to highlight your capabilities than to actually demonstrate them with creative illustrations?
Test your skills right away by participating in the “Wear Your Heart on a T” contest for a chance to win $5,000 and a year-long Creative Cloud membership! Need inspiration? Check out the t-shirt gallery here or follow our student stories posted on Facebook.
Personal branding effectively communicates your skills and your passions and I challenge you to get creative and stand out! And, if you’re still not convinced, check out these posts from Forbes, Mashable and College Info Geek that talk about the importance of personal branding.
* Fast Company, Tom Peters, August 31, 1997: http://www.fastcompany.com/28905/brand-called-you