College students and young professionals must think of personal branding broadly in order to be successful and land a job, internship and other professional opportunities. We have seen artists such as Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey and the Kardashians create global brands that span across industries. Although these examples are exclusive to the entertainment realm, there are many other examples in other industries such as Marshawn Evans, Melinda Emerson the Small Biz Lady, J.K. Rowling and Martha Stewart. What are some of the common components of a brand empire and how do you start creating your own? A brand empire has multiple must-haves that include:
- Being an expert in your industry
- Books and publications
- Working with media
- Corporate clients and sponsorships
- And more recently, developing a solid digital media platform is essential
As a student, recent graduate or young professional, social media is the component to focus on. Kim Kardashian has been an expert, harnessing social media and using it to create relationships with her fans, communicate with media, secure corporate sponsorships and self-publish and self-promote her products. What one must keep in mind is that simply creating accounts on social media sites and pushing out your content is not going to help grow your branding empire. You must have a concrete plan that encompasses various tools and channels simultaneously. You can accomplish this by becoming an active member in different communities including blogs, podcasts, Facebook, article marketing, Twitter and other niche communities. You must also be consistent in all social networks that you take part in.Below is a Consistency Checklist you can use when creating and maintaining your brand identity.
- Are your profile images the same across platforms?
- Do your profiles maintain the same color scheme and motifs?
- Have you kept your profile names and handles consistent?
- Are you connecting with and engaging your target audience?
- Do you have a website? Does it prominently display your contact information?
- Are you participating in the digital space competitively? If not, why not?