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Personal Branding – Week 4: Don’t let your social media KILL your personal brand!


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Your brand represents your style. This style is driven by your personality, actions, principles, and philosophies. Social media can assist in growing this brand, but it can also hinder it’s growth. Keep in mind our social media accounts may even outlive us. 

Your personal brand can serve as an moral compass for your career and your life. And it should be used to determine what to put online. There are many upsides to defining your personal brand. The upsides include creating clarity and authenticity in your brand. So aligning your brand is essential. 

What does this mean for you? It means going through your social media outlets and preserving, or finding, that personal brand. Remove photos that do not represent your style, remove anything that doesn’t align with what you represent. Preserve that clarity and authenticity in your brand.


Today we are going to talk about how the things you do online and in person will start developing your personal brand.  These can be things you do in person AND things you can do in your photos and videos that will live online.   


Obviously, when you begin crafting your personal brand, your week one homework will help sculpt and mold everything else.  Everything else from this point forward need to align with those values you want to carry through your personal brand.   


Today we are going to focus on your online social media accounts.  Whether these are the “stories” in Instagram, Facebook or snapchat, or your regular feed on Instagram and facebook.   
Social media is SUCH an easy way to mess up your personal brand if you are not careful.  Why?  Because it’s easy to get emotionally carried away.  It’s easy to get political and go off on rants. Understand that if that IS your brand, than that is fine.  If you are a politician, than go off on your political rants, but for the rest of us, save those for intimate discussions if you need to have them so that way if you’re going to piss off people, it’ll be the few friends around your table versus half of your facebook friend list.   


This can go for how you respond to comments as well as the photos you show up in.  If you want to be seen as a respectable person in your community, you shouldn’t have photos of you wasted at the mixer popping up on your local chamber’s photos.   


You might say, well I’m allowed to do what I want because it’s my personal facebook.  And yes, yes you may do what you want, but know that everything you post has consequences, good or bad.  And since this video is about creating a strong personal brand that will help you get to the next step in life, you need to protect that brand.  Just like you would tell your children not to post inappropriate photos of them, that goes for you too. 


Moving on.  Social media is an easy way to connect with other people.  It’s a great way to share someone elses post and add personal context to it.  It will not only get their attention since they will be notified, but you can add your story to it and now you are instantly connected to their story.   


Something very easy to do is use professional photos of yourself (that still look approachable versus overly staged) on your social media.  Don’t worry about not looking “normal”.  What I mean by that is some might think, well, I want to still look approachable and just like other people with their cell phone pics that are maybe not the best quality.  I say throw that thinking away, and not just because I’m a photographer, but because I know what crosses my mind when I see crappy profile pics.  And it’s not, oh wow, look at how trustworthy that person looks.   


This week’s assignment is to go through your social media accounts and delete photos that aren’t aligned with your personal branding values.   


Delete anything that doesn’t make you feel good on social media, whether that’s a drunk photo of you from college, a comment you made that isn’t reflective of how you want to be seen, or that person that keeps making awkward comments. 


Next use photos across your social media accounts that you are proud of.  Use photos that you look at and can say YES, this person is someone I would trust (or whatever your values you are trying to show)… 



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