What’s your Personal Brand?

It’s just the nature of the beast. When you work in the digital creative industry your job title will change. Sometimes through career progression or from industry changes.

Or simply just because of personal re-branding.

Last year Interactiveinc’s founder, Nick Barry, wrote about the trend he’s seen of UX’ers going back to pure digital design. A trend Nick put down to the changing demands and preferences within the industry.

Unlike many other careers where your job title – the thing you use to define yourself – mightn’t change for many several years, being a digital creative can see you redefining who you are and what you do every single time you apply for a role or begin a new project.

Branding is incredibly important. As a digital creative you have your own style, skills, techniques and insights. When you apply for any role you must present your brand – it’s who you are.

And as any marketer will tell you; it’s vital to keep your brand consistent. Otherwise your customers will become confused about who you are and what you represent.

Treat your prospective employers as customers – they’re purchasing your skills. You offer a service in exchange for money and your brand tells them who you are, and what skills you bring.

We didn’t want to ram any “Top 5’s” down your eye-holes. But if you’re missing out on a good list, see Forbes list of 7 things recommended for building your personal brand.

What your personal branding all boils down to is telling your story. How you tell your story is up to you – a CV is the classic way. A LinkedIn profile is the modern way. Your ‘job title’ is an important factor in either case.

Use our earlier example of UX’ers going back to pure digital design. What might you do if you went from one to the other and back again?

UX’ers generally started off as digital designers who then branched out. A smart way to branch out whilst keeping your personal brand consistent is to add to your core job title. This way, when you change roles you can keep your core job title, and thus, your brand stays consistent across the board.

For instance; a “Digital Designer” branches out into UX, so might now list themselves as a “Digital Designer – UX Specialist”.

Alternatively, a copywriter who decides to move into content marketing and SEO support might change their title from “Copywriter”, to “Copywriter – SEO Guru”.

In both of these cases you’ve added value to your brand without compromising on the core message of your brand. People still know who you are and what you do, and if you change paths again it’s easily done without losing your reputation as a star designer or copywriter.

What About Rebranding?

The Emperor changes his clothes all the time. One day he’s conned out of a large sum of money from some unscrupulous individuals who promise more than they can offer – magical new clothes!

Convincing himself and his noblemen that his new clothes are the real deal, the emperor strides away naked, persuaded by his own unwavering certainty that he’s fully clothed – even after it’s pointed out to him he’s butt naked.

In our case the point of this fable is that even if everyone is doing it, even if someone tells you to make changes, even if you’re convinced that it’s the right thing to do – make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. Be your own devil’s advocate.

You might want to reinvent yourself completely and cut all ties to your former self. It’s a little drastic, we’ll give you that, but it’s one of the few instances that rebranding yourself can make sense.

Don’t change your personal brand because you feel like you’re not standing out. It’s as good as saying “I’ve changed to be better and therefore I will be better”. Tautological nonsense, and you’ll start off butt naked.

Instead, improve your existing personal brand. Focus on your strengths. Highlight these. Improve on your weaknesses, and find out what the recruitment agencies and your prospective employers are looking for!

When all’s said and done, developing a strong personal brand is just a better way of saying “always put your best foot forward”.

Make sure that whatever you do and however you do it, your best foot is always first, and your personal brand always tells people what makes you amazing.

 

Looking for your next career leap? Contact your digital recruitment specialists at Interactiveinc today + 61 2 9114 8160.