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UPinion: Building Your Personal Brand

By Elle Wentworth

Personal branding is explained as the process of defining and promoting what you stand for as an individual. It is a culmination of the experiences, skills, and values of which you hold that set you apart. It is everything from what you wear, to the way you talk, to the way you carry yourself, even down to the way you breathe. Personal branding is something I just recently was introduced to but has been instrumental in clarifying my values and shaping my own perception of myself as an individual.

To me, creating a personal brand is a way to both visualize and conceptualize your life in a way that you choose: your passions, strengths, traits, habits, and values. YOU as a human being. It is finding your uniqueness and building a reputation on the things you want to be known for. This brand can be used in numerous ways such as personally through social media accounts or professionally through LinkedIn.  

Forbes created a 7 step plan to create your personal brand that may be a helpful outline. 

  1. Craft your “Brand Vision”

  2. Decide what you want to be known for

  3. Define your audience

  4. Develop a consistent message

  5. Be authentic

  6. Create your own website

  7. Build your social media presence

These are simply an idea of steps to follow, and this process will most likely look different person to person. For example, I cultivated a presence on TikTok long before I knew the concept of personal branding; now, I seamlessly integrate it into the core of my brand identity. 

Parker Miller, a friend and brother of mine in my business fraternity, helped me recognize one extra step to the Forbes outline: value identification and brainstorming of oneself. This should come before you begin crafting your personal brand. 

“It shouldn’t be forced. This may not come to you naturally but is intrinsic to how you behave day to day with your unique personality and values,” Miller said. 

Another friend and brother, Bethany Eckman, recommends doing a “self audit.” She says to think through times when you were proud of yourself, or times you felt most like you. 

“Your brand is there already. It’s inherently who you are. You’ll soon start recognizing patterns and it will evolve naturally. It is a process of self discovery and it begins with honesty,” Eckman said. 

Especially during the holiday season, it is important to recognize our values and the things in which we are most grateful. Sometimes what we value most are things that we often forget to be thankful for and may lose sight of. These values can contribute heavily to crafting your personal brand. One place to start is by taking this Values Bracket Quiz. This will provide you with concepts in which you may want to incorporate within your brand. Another starting point could be Pinterest! If you already have boards and pins, what are they? What are your boards and what could they possibly say about yourself? If you don’t have a pinterest board yet, make one! Here I linked my Personal Brand Pinterest board! 

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