Today, I presented to the University of Nevada’s Business Student Council about how students can build their personal brands online. At the end of the presentation, a few students approached me to ask follow-up questions.
I’m not going to lie. Their questions surprised me.
It’s not that I wasn’t able to answer the questions. Rather- I was genuinely shocked at how some of the students felt completely overwhelmed about growing their personal brand.
Here’s one of the comments from a student after my presentation:
“I’m only a student. I don’t have any real job experience. What could I possibly create content about?”
Let’s rewind. During my presentation, I talked about how it’s important to focus on delivering value through your personal brand.
Instead of writing all about yourself, try to focus on how you can create content that helps people. When you sit down to write- think about brightening someone’s day, or teaching a reader about a lesson you learned in your field.
This student, and a few others, felt that they were too inexperienced to deliver any value- or even start their personal brand.
To that I respond: FALSE!
You are never too inexperienced (or experienced!) to develop your personal brand. Here’s how to get started:
- Decide where you want to be in your professional career in 3 years. Your blog is a way to build your portfolio towards that career. Start writing or posting pictures/videos relevant to your ideal career field.
- Writer’s block? Here are some ideas to find blog content, particularly for students:
- Read a book related to your field. For example, if you want to go into marketing, read a marketing-related book, and write a review. Tag the author in your post. The same concept goes for watching videos (cough, TED talks), or listening to podcasts, and so on.
- Write about school. Guest speaker in class? Take notes, write a post, and tag the speaker. Write about what you learned in this week’s lecture. Post about a homework assignment or project you did that’s related to your career interest.
- Look around your city- who is doing a really great job in your career field? Ask if you can interview them and write a blog post about them. If you don’t know anyone, try asking professors for references.
- Your job, internship, or club. What professional experience are you earning outside of school? Post about projects that you’re working on in your internship, job, or club.
- If you don’t want to make your own blog website, LinkedIn has a free publishing feature that I highly recommend. Just log on to your LinkedIn page, click on the Home icon, and select “Write an Article.”
Students, start building your personal brand now. At this point in time, creating a great personal brand is an opportunity.
It’s only a matter of time before it will be a disadvantage if you don’t have one.
Want more on personal branding? Here’s a post I wrote with tips on strategizing your brand.
Now- your turn to give advice. What other suggestions do you have for students to grow their personal brands?