YNPN RVA’s March professional development workshop focused on building your personal brand. Mariah Williams and Sarah Milston of The Spark Mill shared their own personal brand journeys and explained how and why your personal brand affects your career. We left the session with a better understanding of what our brand is and practical steps for how to build it.
Your personal brand should be authentic and consistent whether you’re in a casual or professional setting and reflect your core values. But once you understand what you want your personal brand to be, how do you practice representing your brand every day?
Here are five tips to help you own your personal brand:
- It Starts with How You Show Up
Represent your personal brand from the minute you walk in the door of your company, a volunteer opportunity, or social gathering. If your brand is detail-oriented, you should be punctual. If you consider yourself to be outgoing, you should be going out of your way to greet everyone in the space.
- Dress the Part
Always dress appropriately for an event or situation, but don’t wear clothes that aren’t authentic to you. There are more ways to dress professionally than a dark suit with a white shirt and dark shoes. If that doesn’t fit your personality, don’t wear that.
- Choose On-Brand Volunteer Activities
Focus your volunteer activities on organizations that do work your passionate about and tackle issues you talk about all the time. Don’t worry about how well-known they are or who else volunteers there.
- Stay On Message on Social Media
Think about how you want to showcase and promote you brand when you choose what social media platforms to be active on and what to post. Remember what you post on social media is almost always public. You don’t have to be all business all the time, but you should always be proud of what you’re putting out there.
- What You Do in Your Free Time Counts Too
You know you’re truly projecting an authentic brand in your personal and professional life when your personal and social activities and priorities reflect the same values you exhibit in your career and volunteer activities.
Building your personal brand is a process and takes some time. But if you’re intentional and true to your values, you will succeed.
Thanks again to The Spark Mill for hosting this workshop. In May we hope you’ll join us for a panel discussion on May 13th – Knowing Your Worth: Self-Advocacy for Young Nonprofit Professionals and our first ever Member Only Article Club Coffee Meet Up on May 21st – this month’s read and conversation is on Valuing Diversity Within Organizations!