When it comes to building your brand, it pays to start doing this while still in university. Of course, for many of us, studying at university is an extremely formative time – one when we are just starting to find ourselves. That is why it is crucial to use this time to learn the unique elements that make you, ‘you’!
For many of us, this will involve actively defining our core values and unique personal attributes, as well as identifying the things that light a fire in our souls. Ascertaining these elements for yourself early in life will assist greatly in building, developing, and maintaining your personal brand over time. Undoubtedly, having a personal brand is an important part of leaving your mark on the world. So, for ambitious, go-getting students aspiring to great heights, curating a personal brand is essential. Here’s how!
University Life: Studying For Your Future
While you are at university, it is important to remember that you are not just there to study. You are also there to shape your future! Of course, an important part of this is building your unique, personal brand. For instance, when studying business online, you can build your personal brand by actively networking, and getting to know your peers and teaching staff on a personal level. Indeed, by establishing yourself as a valuable point of contact to other people, you will – most importantly – be remembered for who you are! Being remembered – and indeed, memorable – is perhaps the most important aspect of building your personal brand. As is promoting what makes you unique, different, and – perhaps most crucially – extremely valuable as an individual.
Without a doubt, your period as a university student is the ideal time to start doing this. You are essentially just starting your adult life in the ‘real world’. Admittedly, much of your life to date has been within the confines of school life, as well as the shelter of your parents’ roof! This is why it’s time to start branching out and learning who you truly are – for yourself.
Of course, identifying who you are as a person while at university can be quite a challenge. As most of us are still only in our early 20s when completing an undergraduate degree, likely, we are still trying to find out who we are for ourselves! This is what makes being a university student the best possible time for some life-changing soul-searching. Try journaling about your core values, and the things that are important to you. Also, think about the things that you truly enjoy and are passionate about. These values, passions, and individual points of difference, are the unique identifiers that will eventually make up your brand.
What Does It Mean to ‘Build Your Brand’?
In the professional world, in particular, there has been much talk of late about ‘building your brand’. This has also been referred to as curating your very own ‘personal brand’. One that is uniquely relevant to yourself, and that demonstrates what you can bring to the table as an individual. So, what exactly is personal branding?
For starters, building a personal brand involves defining, curating, and promoting who you are as a person. This means identifying your points of difference in a sea of individuals who – just like yourself – are also vying to stand out from the competition. For university graduates in particular, personal branding is especially important when applying for professional roles and aspiring to further your career.
Developing your personal brand is also essential to be noticed and recognized for what you stand for – as well as what makes you unique, irreplaceable, and indispensable – both as an employee and as an individual! Undoubtedly, your individuality, your personality – and indeed, your quirks – are what make you who you are. That is why a large part of personal branding is embracing the things that make you different, and that set you apart from others. This can be your values, your attributes or characteristics, as well as the ‘soft’ skills you develop throughout your life.
Developing, Cultivating, and Maintaining Your Brand Image Throughout Your Life
Curating your personal brand is not just about building a reputation. Yes, it is about being ‘known’ – particularly within your target professional industry – as well as being remembered by the people that matter. However, it means more than that. It’s essentially about defining who you are as a person. And this is something you will carry throughout your life.
Of course, your personal brand may change and develop as you go through the many ups and downs in life. This is why you must remember that your personal brand is not set in stone – it is fluid. Indeed, many would argue that you can reinvent yourself as many times as you wish in life! This is the great thing about the fluidity of personal branding. Once you know yourself, your values, and what you stand for, you can evolve as much as you like. Education, personal networking – and even traveling abroad – can have quite an influence on your tastes, your character, and indeed, your brand. Nonetheless, despite all of these external influences, it is important to be able to come back to ‘you’. And that is the beauty of personal branding.
Building a personal brand is essential to curating a career – and indeed, a life! – you can be proud of. Most importantly, your personal brand will encompass all of the things that are important to you – your values, your passion, and your unique character. Of course, many of us are still learning what truly makes us unique. That is why it is essential to start building your brand while you are still at university. By doing this, you will truly ‘learn’ yourself, what matters to you, and what sets you apart. In this sense, you will become not only identifiable but also, memorable. This is perhaps the most important element of building a personal brand – a unique blueprint that is authentic, long-lasting, and will carry you through life.