Last spring the phrase “building your brand” was one of my biggest concerns.
I was in the process of filling out an application for an internship at The Second City training center in Chicago. I wanted to convey that I was hilarious, creative, and worth paying attention to but also professional. I had this idea in my head that funny people couldn’t be professional.
Cue Brian Basilico.
Basilico is an award-winning author and speaker. He teaches businesses how to market their brand through online tools like websites, blogs, and through the use of social media. He came to Olivet Nazarene Univeristy’s campus in early March for a speaking engagement and I found myself in a place to pick his brain. I thought, “He would tell me exactly how to brand myself appropriately!”
He didn’t… not entirely. What he did was point out was that comedians are business professionals too.
Building your brand is showcasing the best (honest) parts of you.
On my application to The Second City I crafted this tagline:
“Highly driven, aspiring public relations professional at Olivet Nazarene University remaining transparent and ethical in a media saturated world with a comedic and creative flair.”
Wait a second, I had two Twitter accounts. Only one of them went on my business card. Only one was okay for my mom to look at. Only one would get a job. Something had to give.
Cue gut check
Gut checks are crucial to building your brand.
- Who are you following?
- What are you posting?
- How will the public perceive it?
Public relations professionals Anyone who wants to be taken seriously in the job industry should ask themselves those three questions.
So, who am I following?
- Friends, classmates, PR professionals, companies I admire, Saturday Night Live, cast members and writers on SNL, The Second City, and Rate My Dog (It’s the greatest Twitter account ever)
What am I posting?
How will the public perceive it?
- I want to come off as sarcastic, witty, and worth paying attention to. Twitter is a self-gratifying site, but it doesn’t have to be. Think about your favorite celebrity or brand. What causes do they support? How do you know this? This knowledge probably comes from looking at their content.
Do I have a social media strategy?
Absolutely, I want to get people talking and not about me. Building your brand is about yourself, but it can serve a greater purpose. I want my followers to feel like they can engage with me on whatever issues I’m tweeting about. The most revolutionary thing about social media are the connections you can make from a computer screen.
Build your brand