What is the number one thing people miss when building their personal brand online? This question and more were answered by Jason Mollica, president of JRM Comm Inc., when he visited the Illinois State University campus on March 25 to present “March Brandness.”
The event, co-sponsored by ISU PRSSA and the Student Government Association, taught students of all majors the importance of personal branding for professional success. The title was a spin on the popular NCAA basketball series, March Madness.
Trust is the one feature professionals neglect when building their personal brand in the digital space. Mollica stressed the importance of authenticity and honesty both online and offline.
Your personal brand is the combination of “who I think I am,” “what I do and say,” and “perception of others.” A successful online personal brand includes the key components of honesty, transparency, responsibility, authenticity and passion.
“To inspire others and establish yourself as a future expert, you have to love what you do,” Mollica said when talking about why passion is so important.
How do you know what improvements can be made when it comes to your personal brand, though? Mollica suggested conducting a personal SWOT analysis and brand audit. A SWOT analysis maps your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
The SWOT analysis goes hand in hand with the brand audit. This includes your brand guidelines and voice, engagement score, strategy and purpose, what you are sharing, and your frequency of posts. The brand audit is both a snapshot of your current brand online and a road map of where you’d like it to be in the future.
One mistake many students make is trying to be on every social network. Good personal branding is much more about quality over quantity. For example, many students feel they should have a blog, but Mollica says only do it if you are passionate. If you are only on Twitter, that is okay! Just make it the best Twitter account you can.
Mollica also answered some questions from students about LinkedIn and how it can help in the job search. While it will not replace your resume, it acts as a supplement. Mollica even said LinkedIn should be your number one network for job hunting and professional growth.
Students engaged with the event on Twitter, tracked through the #MarchBrandness hashtag. Check out some of the top tweets below!
By Lily Sherer
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.