Was it just me or was Dan Schawbel’s presentation kind of intimidating? I mean look at him. He is only 27 years old, probably wealthy and he has a fun, successful career. According to his website he has been featured in more than 300 media outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and is considered the “personal branding guru.” I wish I were a guru. He simply created his own profession by marketing himself and showing people the importance of branding.
Speaking of personal branding, I am a determined and experienced PR student about to graduate. But to know that there are students and practitioners like Dan with so much expertise, it almost stresses me out. Do I have my own brand? Am I marketable?
There are many ways a person can market and position themselves especially in such a technology driven world. It is important to brand yourself, especially for public relations practitioners ,because that’s how we stand out and have the ability to network. Personal branding can identify an individual as an expert in their field, and if one believes in their talent, skills and ability, it shows and their image is created.
If you ask me, passion and personality are the two most important elements when creating a brand for yourself. If someone doesn’t have passion for what they want to do as a career, then they won’t perform their best and succeed. Personality is also important because by showing your true self and bringing something new to the table, you will stand out and make a lasting impression.
In the presentation, Dan mentioned he would bring a CD to his interviews which would be loaded with his portfolio items. Does using a CD seem outdated to you? Yes, it would stand out and it’s convenient, but I think developing an online portfolio is just as efficient. He also mentioned that he had a business card while still in college and used it when he went on interviews. Should we really invest our time in creating a business card? Does it prove we are more determined and have established “our” brand?
I listened closely to Schawbel’s presentation on Sept 20 because I am three months away from graduating and entering the real world. It is scary to think about, especially since Dan emphasized start applying for jobs as soon as you can. He provided us with great information and resources on how to be different and create an image. But the more people stress how important it is to network and put yourself out there, I worry that I will fall flat on my face if I don’t meet the right people at the right time.
How much experience do we need to successfully brand ourselves?