Miss Musings

A modern miss provides commentary on sociological and psychological issues concerning politics, the media, literature, and everyday observances.

Your brand isn’t going to build itself

Ever heard of something called your “brand?” What does that even mean anyway?

Having a brand, or a digital aura future employers can associate you with, is critical. Jobs are getting harder to access as young professionals, but having a trustworthy brand in which all of your media links together may help you create your own work or be noticed by employers.

 

disney

Source: https://www.etsy.com/listing/154386179/disney-monorail-bumper-sticker-my-other

 

Think of the Disney brand. When you see the Mickey mouse ear labels, the “A P” (annual passholder) bumper stickers, or the “Walt Disney” signature, you know what company you are dealing with. Immediately you think of the “happiest place on earth” and trust the products that you are purchasing because they are associated with a trustworthy company. The same way you recognize Disney products, people need to recognize your work. Building a memorable brand can be done in the following ways:

  • Have a (professional) presence on social networks. If you are constantly glued to your laptop or phone, you are in luck. In today’s world everyone has a Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, so you need these tools too. Pick an image that resembles you and use it as your logo on all public social networks. Also, it is important to keep your username consistent, so be sure to check your chosen username’s availability on all platforms you are interested in using.
  • Create an online portfolio or website. Thankfully, there are plenty of web hosts that allow you to make websites for free. These sites usually put up advertisements and have funky URLs, but what is important is that the part of the URL you can control reflects your name on social networks. My favorite web host is Wix, because it does not require you to know HTML and you can make a professional-looking site in a matter of hours. Others that my colleagues have used include WordPress and Webs.com.
  • Hint: When you sync up your site to social networks, turn the URL into a tinyurl link using tinyurl.com. This way people won’t be thrown off by your lack of a purchased domain name, and the link will use up fewer characters in your bio.
  • When you’re ready, invest. Domain names, a.k.a. customized URLs, can be pricey. By the same token, you may think your homemade blog logo is the epitome of creativity and excellence. Yet sometimes investing in your own brand is necessary for you to be taken seriously as a professional. Caution: Do not purchase domain names or hiring Photoshop geniuses right away. Instead, play around with your online image and see if your brand is a. effective, and b. a digital reflection of you. Once it is, start doling out the dollar bills.
  • Shamelessly. self. promote. If you see an opportunity to network with someone, jump on it. Call people. Email people. Make yourself known and tweet companies who are doing what you want to do. In the words of branding king Steve Johnson (a.k.a. @journo2go): think about what you want to do, not where you want to work. So tweet small companies: they will lap it up. This advice can be applied to journalism or any other field: just make yourself known and make a positive impression. Social networking can always hurt you, but when used appropriately, it will inevitably help you.

 

Do you have a brand yet? If not, remember to PLAN one first, then start signing up for social networks and promoting your work. It’s a tough world out there, but we know the art of branding. Now get going – your brand isn’t going to build itself.

Want more professional advice? Are you enjoying #yourfuture week? Leave me a comment below (I always answer) and follow me on Twitter for more. You can also like Miss Musings on Facebook and be the first to know when new articles are out. 

Monday’s #yourfuture post: Want a job? Make your own  

 

Want a job? Make your own

As I watched my fellow future-driven high school students seek out summer jobs and internships, I felt a bit left in the dust. However, I realized that I was not in dire need of money, and I do not really need a job. What I really wanted was work experience; so I made my own opportunity to learn the ropes of business and be my own boss.

 

mmlogo

 

Going into blogging for hypeorlando, I was unsure of how much of a time commitment it would be. I assumed that the main portion of the work would revolve around reporting relevant content frequently and in a timely manner. While this is true, I quickly realized that blogging is a business. At this point I have been blogging for less than a month, but I have learned the ins-and-outs of WordPress, how to read Google Analytics, how to edit quickly, how to queue posts, how to use hashtags effectively, and how to “build my brand” as the elusive Miss Musings. Social networks have become much easier for me to navigate, and I have even picked up some HTML skills. I am aware that participating in marketing and social media internships would have warranted me similar skillsets, but I did not need to fill out an application to learn how to make a name for myself in the ever-competitive world of journalism.

Let’s recap: in less than a month at hypeorlando, I have gained skills in marketing, social media, networking, branding, blogging, writing, editing, and general “audience pleasing.” I already knew I was a great writer, but blogging consistently and building my own “internship” allowed me to play with journalism and technology and pick up new strategies I know will be valuable to any company I may encounter after college.

So if you are like me and do not “need” a job financially, but want to learn something over the summer or get an edge in college/job applications, just create your own job. You could blog for hypeorlando, build your own blog, or seek out a different entrepreneurial venture that is suited to your tastes. I came from an extensive background in technology and journalism, so blogging fit in perfectly with my skills and interests. Not everyone needs to intern for Apple or even have a paying job at McDonald’s to learn new things.

It’s “your future” theme week! I will be posting Mon. Wed. and Fri. on how to succeed as a young professional. This is just post number one – tune in Wed. for another post like this! Be the first to know everything: follow me on Twitter and like Miss Musings on Facebook