Creating a personal brand has become more and more important as society continues to exist heavily online. Whether you try to craft your personal brand or not, you have one. Whenever someone searches your name on the internet, whatever comes up becomes your personal brand.
This is important to note as you apply for colleges, internships, and jobs, as recruiters and employers will almost certainly search for your name online to see what your web presence is like. Moreover, you can create opportunities to work with like-minded individuals when your personal brand represents you well.
So, since you’ll have a personal brand no matter what, you might as well take control of it and get creative in the process.
Here are 5 different ways students are already getting creative with their personal branding. Maybe some of these ideas will inspire you to craft your online presence in a way that feels authentic to you!
If you enjoy writing and/or creating videos, you can try keeping up an online written or video blog to help people get to know you and your passions.
Some students choose to create blogs and vlogs simply sharing their thoughts or events in their lives. However, you can also start a blog or vlog that is specific to your interests.
For example, if you’re passionate about environmental impact, you could start a blog or vlog that gives your audience advice about how to reduce personal waste.
Or, you could use your writing or video space to share your talents with others in areas like poetry, music, political organizing, cooking, fashion, etc.
2. Specific Social Media Content
Another way to get creative with personal branding is to curate specific social media content that helps your followers not only get to know you better but also understand your brand when they see your accounts.
This means strategically planning your posts, rather than just posting whatever content you feel like posting on social media.
Take the time to think about how you want others to see you. What is your personal color scheme? What issues do you care about, and what are your passions? Do you want to seem more professional and buttoned up or artistic and carefree?
Make sure your authenticity shines by being specific about the photos, videos, and text you share on your social media accounts, from Snapchat and Instagram to Twitter and TikTok.
By choosing specific color schemes and content themes, you will ensure that whoever looks at your social media profiles is aware of your personal brand and that you are representing yourself the way you want to be seen.
3. Community Organizing
If you are a student who cares deeply about helping your community, community organizing is another way to help build the personal brand you want to represent you.
By organizing events for your community based on your interests and personality, like a run/walk, food/toy/clothing drive, neighborhood cleanup, etc., you will continue to show the world what you care about and how you’d like to show up in society.
What are the issues you care about, and how can you organize an event that aligns with your interests? Take stock of your answers to these questions, and get creative!
For example, if you are passionate about baking and care deeply about ending homelessness, you might organize a bake sale to raise funds for an organization that provides help for those without shelter.
Or, if you are an artist and are worried about global warming, you might create art pieces with fellow artists to sell to those in your community that raise awareness about environmental issues and then give some or all of your proceeds to an organization that focuses on green energy solutions or recycling.
The opportunities to organize in your community are endless. Not only will your efforts contribute to your community, but they will also help create your personal brand by continuing to show others what matters most to you.
Podcasts have only continued to gain in popularity and demand, and although there are so many podcasts available, there is always room for more. Students around the world have created podcasts about topics ranging from issues with environmental racism and growing up Asian American in the United States to favorite soothing sounds, or movie reviews.
Based on your passions and interests, try creating a podcast of your own! Maybe you help give listeners meditation advice or share information about your favorite art form, the ins and outs of coding, or your interesting hobbies. Or, perhaps you can use your podcast to shed light on an important issue in your community.
Maybe you just want to interview your friends or neighbors about their lives and act as a host. Whatever your interests, you can create a podcast that will help grow your personal brand.
5. Creating a Logo
Finally, you can get creative with personal branding by actually creating your own personal logo. Think about symbols and colors that represent you, take a look at some example brand logos online, and have fun!
For example, do you think a more minimalistic, simplistic logo would represent your brand best or a busier, more colorful logo? Are you an artist, an entrepreneur, a tech-wizard, an athlete, or a social justice activist?
Play around with different logo designs that will help showcase who you are, and you can use this logo in your social media accounts, your email signature, or even on your website, if you have one.
However you decide to get creative with personal branding, remember that it’s most important to be authentic to who you are and keep your future goals in mind.
Your personal brand should showcase who you are but also align with the type of future you want to have.
Enjoy the process, and know that by doing this work now, not only will future collaborators have a better idea of what you will bring to a project or company, but you will also continue to learn about yourself!