Throughout my last year in WKU's advertising program, we constantly learned about the concept of "Brand You." The concept was personal branding, something many college grads are faced with when diving face first into the job hunt (with the unemployment rate like it is...more like a bellyflop). When you put yourself out there to employers, you aren't just sending out a resume. You are making yourself into a brand that potential HR people would want to buy into. It's a great concept that does impress especially for advertising and marketing grads. If you can't do a great job promoting and creating yourself as a brand, what makes employers think they can trust you to do the same with their clients?
I've seen a lot of personal branding from several friends at different schools. Looking at the work and polished products from people my age, I am truly humbled by what I competed against going into the job field. I did my own personal branding a bit backward. It wasn't until I was employed that I really put an effort into it.
There was something missing from all the personal branding materials I saw put together. They looked great, were very professional and something I would totally buy into. To get into the workforce, showing how professional one can be prior to getting a paycheck goes a long way to employment. However, where was the "person" in the personal branding? There are a lot of great office-type things in there but where is the person's personality? All I would know about the person is their passion for their field of study and nothing else.
I was in a dilemma when branding. It started with blogging and tweeting really. When creating a blog site I was torn whether or not I should blog just about social media/business type things or personal journal posts. Then I came up with this crazy idea.
Why not both?
Not necessarily a smorgasborg of posts. I wanted to give the reader insights on what I think and observe on social media type things while also giving them the option of seeing what I am like outside of my work. The development of web 2.0 marketing has forced company brands to become more transparent and personal. I believe the same applies for personal branding. Your personal brand shouldn't just flatten out to how you do business. My employers at Hinda Incentives aren't just working with Drew the digital marketing strategist. They are also working with Drew the Christian runner who loves reading, coffee, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Employers don't just hire job skills, they hire personalities too.
Just because someone has mad skills doesn't always make them an automatic fit for a company. There could be clashing personalities that don't always lead to synergy and productivity in the office. No matter how talented that person is, this will do more harm than good long term.
So when people visit my site and see me on social media, they won't just see my passion for this new era of marketing opportunity. They won't just see what kind of office skills I have at Hinda. They'll see me. Because if I was on the job hunt (really thankful that I'm not), the potential employer wouldn't just be hiring my skills: they'd be hiring me.
What kind of thoughts do you have? Is this strategy dangerous or spot on?