I had a fellow professional and IMC graduate student Colin who reminded me to be part of the Hootsuite University #HSUChat session. The topic for today’s session was focusing on personal branding – and it was lead by Barbara Nixon. I’ve participated in a lot of different Twitter chat sessions, but this was probably one of the most engaged and dynamic ones I’ve ever been a part of! Wow – this was quite the experience soaking in all of knowledge and information pertaining to personal branding.
All of the conversations during this one hour chat session really brought forth an interesting question – how do you manage your personal brand? What are some elements to consider and what are some steps that need to be taken to be most proactive in this for yourself? I think all of the points highlighted in the chat session were not only relevant for professors, students, and fellow professionals to be aware of, but also consider how this could be applied to your own brand.
There are two questions, which Colin brought up that really hit this point home for me, that all social media professionals have to ask themselves when it comes to their personal brand. What are you passionate about and what is the one thing that people ask you for your advice on a regular basis? This is very important to consider and realize that this may be different from one person and another, so the way we have to approach this as a professor in the classroom is not to transform our students to be a single branded professional. Rather, we need to be explorers to determine what makes them unique and interesting and how to give them the best tools to help them establish themselves online with their personal brand.
If I were to add a third question to the mix for personal brand – I would have added this: What characteristics, experiences, and perspectives do you have that make you different from others in the field? Identifying this gap – this opportunity essentially – for students, professionals, and even professors is key. We want to see different perspectives and unique voices we have not heard about before. We want to see different voices shared, experiences and stories that have not been told yet, and personality along with it. If we are able to embrace what makes us who we are and combine this with our passion in the professional field of social media – well, look out world!
As a professor, this is what I have tried to do in each of my classes for my students. Yes, it is hard to determine what is unique about us and how to strategically position ourselves online, but this does not happen over night. Think of it as a training workout you have engage in on a regular basis. Not just once a week – this is a full time investment and commitment you have to make for your personal brand. It takes time, energy, and there are of course some ups and downs along the way. Look at how an Olympic athlete competes – they don’t decide one day they will be compete at the Olympic Games. Rather, they have to hone in on their skills and work hard to better themselves each and every day.
Doing a little bit each day pays off so much in the long run. This was one lesson I did learn while I was a shot putter both in high school and college, and this has served me well as I have started on this new chapter of my career as a professor, researcher, and consultant.
I’d like to thank the team at Hootsuite University and everyone who participated in the #HSUChat session today on personal branding – especially Barbara Nixon. Thank you for sharing your insights with all of us on personal branding and extending the conversation for all of us on social media. I will make sure to check back in for another great chat next week. Hope you all are having a great day!