Building Your Personal Brand EDGEucational Forum Event Re-Cap

What is a personal brand? What does the term mean? Why does it matter? What can you do to manage it? All of these questions and more were tackled at the latest EDGEucational Forum Event :: Building Your Personal Brand. It turns out “personal branding” is more than just a buzzword used by people to whom words like “synergy” and “outside the box” are part of the vernacular.  A personal brand is yours to make or break and, luckily, it can be actively managed to ensure that you are putting your best “you” out there in the world.

Guided by Michele McCormick, EVP at Circlepoint, Metro EDGErs talked about basics like not posting anything inappropriate or when to avoid mixing religious or political views with business (tip: that’s pretty much always) to what a Klout score was to deeper issues like the true value of LinkedIn groups and how to engage them. The discussion gave attendees some great insights into the concept of managing who you are online, in person, and via word of mouth. Below are some quick tips from the session:

1.      There is no privacy. That is a concept of the past and that’s a little scary but there is power in knowing that you can control much of what’s out there.

2.      Do quality work and it will speak for itself. Don’t seek credit but make sure the right person knows you did it.

3.      Be helpful to others. Seek opportunities to collaborate as much as possible, even if it means possibly losing business.

4.      Be kind.

5.      Be yourself! It’s ok to be you! You can differentiate yourself. If that’s who you are then own it!

6.      Ask questions! Newsflash: the best sales pitch is not about YOU … it’s about THEM!

7.      Actively manage your online reputation … manage what you can within sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter … Google yourself, determine your Klout score, etc. This requires some work on your part but use all the tools out there to protect your online reputation. It’s worth it.

8.      If there is a blemish on your online reputation… “the only way to manage bad is to bury it with good.” It’s up to you to make sure there is so much good stuff about you online that they never find the bad.

It was a very collaborative conversation that wound down with EDGERs giving each other advice on networking opportunities, Facebook privacy tips, and ideas on how social media tools are being co-opted and used internally by larger companies.  Collaboration! One of the key take-aways from the presenter was the essence of the event. When you think about it, that’s really what Metro EDGE is all about … a group of like-minded people who care not only about their own futures, but the futures of those who will help make our home what it is to become.