An Eduventurist’s Guide to “Personal Branding” 2.0

12 May

(Side note: check out the Eduventurist Tumblr site, meant for anyone to upload content!)

“Personal Branding.” Sounds like some self-centered commercial scheme, doesn’t it?  

Although I agree that a different term should be used to describe this phenomenon, through my own exploration and navigation of the digital world I’ve come to learn it’s actually become extremely important in our increasingly connected society. If you resist it, you could be out of the loop and may miss out on great opportunities and things to learn about. For Eduventurists, I see the utilization of social media tools as a way to establish and easily spread your own unique identity and ideas,  explore other peoples’ career paths for inspiration, and learn about existing organizations, movements, and individuals you can connect and communicate with. 

From my perspective, career centers on college campuses could do a better job at training and educating us as students on this whole online world of networking and communications. The thing is, the people who probably are most knowledgeable about this social media world are our own peers who have grown up in the digital age. So ask around to see if there is anyone who already has exceptional social media skills who can teach you a bit. I wouldn’t call myself a corporate or business-driven person, but even in the creative economy, social sector, and freelance/consulting jobs (areas of which are of major interest to me) I have noticed that many people I admire or go to for advice have taken the time to utilize these communication and content curation tools. Actually, one successful social entrepreneur and interviewee in New York said that when he hires people, he doesn’t ask for a resume, but will instead ask an applicant for links to all of their social media profiles so he can check out who they are and what they’ve done (also, check out this!). So I’ve taken it upon myself to become more familiar with the various platforms out there to leverage relationships and interests. I’ve decided to highlight a few of the top sites and strategies I have learned about so far!

  • An interviewee in NYC, Amanda Holt, told me she thought that everyone should have one of these. It’s basically a simple profile to aggregate all of your other social media profiles into one space, and include a short biography and photo. I actually just created my own
  • Moo: Although this isn’t online social media, I am a big believer in design and creativity when it comes to marketing one’s self. Business cards don’t have to be the boring, monotonous piece of cardstock people have used for decades (unless that’s the look you’re going for!) Now with sites like Moo, you can create and design super cool cards that will have people in awe of the piece of art you are handing them, not simply your contact information. 
  • LinkedIn: It’s never too early to just set up a profile. It’s basically your resume, but online, so it’s more easily and instantly accessible for other people to learn about your educational background, previous work experience, and connections. Not super exciting, but good to have.
  • Twitter: As I’ve posted previously on this blog, I opened up my first Twitter account this year after resisting it for a long time. Twitter is a goldmine of amazing aggregated information, whether it be links to awesome projects and initiatives, or just cool people in general that you should know about. One thing I do now is randomly click on different profiles of people followed by people I follow, and if I come across someone interesting, go to their personal website (if listed), and read more about their work and individual path to how they got to where they are today. Really helpful and insightful!
  • Blogs: Ok, of course I would mention this as I write about it in a blog, but I do think that creating a space and presence online where you share with people your more lengthy thoughts, actions, and links is a good way to spread your ideas and reflections. It’s a great idea to follow other people’s blogs as well, as it seems to be a good way to engage in intellectually-stimulating discussions and readings that bring in a social aspect, yet you don’t have to go somewhere (like school) to receive that type of engagement. Top blogging platforms include WordPress (woo!), Posterous, Tumblr, and Blogger.
  • If you are an artist or creator of some sort, showcase your work and portfolio through a variety of sites such as Vimeo (film), Behance (art and design), Flickr (photography), Github (web coding), and Bandcamp (music). 
  • Do you know any other good social media/networking site to add to the list? Leave it in the comments section, I’d love to learn more (and I’m sure other readers will too).

2 Responses to “An Eduventurist’s Guide to “Personal Branding” 2.0”

  1. Guillaume Andria May 13, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    This article is just great.
    You should post it on your tumblr, I’d love to reblog it !

    • Weezie May 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

      Thanks, your own blog is very interesting as well. I look forward to reading more of your posts! I just added the link to this post to the eduventurism tumblr 🙂

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