3 Tips for Building Your Personal Branding

If communicating with the world in bursts of 140 characters or less seems silly to you, do not tell that to Caroline de Cunha, Marketing Manager for Startup Institute Boston. In her presentation to our class at Startup Institute Chicago last Sunday she discussed several items to consider in building a personal brand, many of which underscored topics discussed earlier in the week by instructors, startup founders, and SI staff.

1. Be active on social media accounts like Twitter, LinkedIn, and possibly Quora or Pinterest.

Earlier in the week, we learned about the importance of using Twitter to become part of conversations with individuals and organizations who might otherwise seem out of reach. Being part of conversations, it turns out, is part of building your brand

While this may seem like a no-brainer to those who have been in and around the tech industry for a while, it is an important lesson for some who are new to the game or late to the party. Thomas Mathew, a recent graduate from the University of Chicago in the Product & Design track, said he found the advice helpful as he had just created a Twitter account earlier in the week and is also building out his LinkedIn profile.  

2. Map Out Your Story, Then Share It Across All Your Platforms

How are you trying to position yourself within your industry? What is one word that you want people to associate with you? You can map your own story using this framework (Slide 13).

The framework was a nice callback to Dashfire founder Rick Desai’s Wednesday talk about helping clients craft their seemingly unrelated experiences into a startup career pitch. Jennifer Gardner, a student in the Technical Marketing track, said she planned to use the framework and Rick’s insights to translate her previous experiences working in marketing for a film festival and as a jack of all trades for a law firm into a narrative about marketing acumen and functional versatility.

3. Use Specific Examples and Quantitative Factoids When Possible

In mapping out your story, you should think of both specific qualitative and quantitative examples that help you tell your story. Remember that time you helped your project team knock the socks off a client, or when that blog post your wrote lead to fifty inbound leads? Weave it into your narrative!

For Roychelle Lindo, a landscape architect in the Product and Design track, this advice about specifics helped her pinpoint an experience at her former employer. She assisted her previous firm in resubmitting a layout plan to a competition hosted by the American Society for Landscape Architects. As an aspiring web designer, Roychelle said she can relate her architectural background using design elements to making websites more functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Now that you know these keys, you can use them in building your own personal brand!
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Matt Mawhinney is a student at StartUp Institute Chicago in the Sales and Business Development track focusing on inbound sales and content creation.Say hello to him on Twitter @TweetsbyMatt.