Your Personal Brand includes your personal style and the way you present yourself to others. It includes the way you speak, your dialect and your language. It’s the way you dress, your jewelry, hairstyle and shoes.
I learned a lesson about personal branding early in my career when I had just graduated college and interviewed for a copywriter position at a large Phoenix advertising agency. From 100 applicants I made it down to the final two. The other finalist had four years of ad agency experience as a copywriter. My only experience was a six-month college internship at Ping Golf Clubs. But, I had a portfolio of creative ideas, a confident attitude and new black suit that screamed, “I’m a professional with style!”
Although I wasn’t surprised they chose to hire the other candidate, I was surprised to learn the reason. The partner who interviewed me said it was a close call between the other candidate and me, but he shared with me how unimpressed he was by my rather “cheap” portfolio case. Even though it was filled with fresh and creative ideas, my new, plastic, $14.99 portfolio case broadcasted to the world that I placed little value on my work.
That was a big lesson I learned and one that I’ve never forgotten. The way you present yourself and act around others shapes your personal brand and the way others perceive you.
I invite you to share your own experiences where someone’s personal brand influenced your (good or bad).