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Philly PR Girl Industry Insights: Personal Branding 101

We are debuting our highly anticipated new blog series, Philly PR Girl Industry Insights! As digital media continues to evolve, professionals struggle to stay ahead of the newest trends. This series’ aim is to keep all the social media mavens on top of their game. Each month, our PPRG owner, Kate Marlys, will highlight some tips she’s learned through her extensive background in marketing, social media, and event planning.

Philly PR Girl  

To start, we’re tackling a topic that we’re frequently asked about; welcome to Personal Branding 101! Using effective personal branding, Kate has been able to establish a professional reputation as the Philly PR Girl. It began in 2010 when Kate launched of her Philly-based events blog. Within a couple years, that little WordPress website had transformed into a successful PR agency.

When it seems that everyone around you is making #PowerMoves, how do you set yourself apart from the competition? Simply put, you must create a killer personal brand that identifies your lifestyle, goals, values, and more. Successful self-branding shows through a clear and organized message of consistency, leadership, and professionalism.

Kate shares her advice on establishing, launching, and maintaining a personal brand.  

College Students

As college students begin to break into the professional market, how can personal branding help them secure an internship?   

Kate: The earlier someone begins branding themselves, the better! Branding takes time. I always encourage students to start their own blogs. After all, Philly PR Girl started as a blog. An applicant with their own website always stands out from the competition. Having an organized and well maintained blog is an easy way to impress an employer. It takes a lot of time, so it shows that the person has dedication, initiative, and time management skills.

College is the perfect time to start branding yourself for success in the future. To start, you’ll first need a logo. A marketable logo does NOT need to break the bank! Be creative, collaborative, and resourceful. Campuses are full of talented graphic designers looking for practice. Your logo helps to protect your materials, as well as, create a distinguishable impression on your audience.   

Job Applicants

How can a job applicant’s personal brand help them stand out during an interview?

Kate:  In the past, showing genuine interest and dedication to a company has gotten me jobs in the industry. Major companies receive hundreds of applications, so it’s important that your applications shines above the competition. There are many ways that personal branding can help you stand out during the process. First, get creative with your resume! Incorporate your brand’s designs, colors, and fonts. In this industry, do not be afraid to spice your resume up with an attractive accent color.

No job interview is complete without a copy of your resume. It will make or break the application. A resume shows your design skills, interests, experience, and professionalism. When I view resumes, I love seeing community activities, connections, associations, and leadership experience. All that shows me that the applicant is a go-getter!

Business Owners

From a business perspective, why is it important that business owners dedicate time to establish a personal brand?  

Kate:  As a business owner, it is nearly impossible to separate yourself from your company. Customers are going to look you up. If they are turned off by your personal content, they will be turned off by your product. Trust us, we understand that personal branding is not easy. Many business owners struggle to maintain a quality brand for both themselves and their businesses. That’s where we would come in. Philly PR Girl works to help business owners rebrand and generate new traffic everyday.

The better you brand yourself, the more eager others are to join your professional network. There’s a reason why they say, “It’s all about who you know.” It truly is important. Always have business cards at hand, and when someone gives you a business card, add them on LinkedIn. Stay in touch! I have my own personal LinkedIn account, as well as one for the company. Over the years, on my personal account alone, I’ve reached roughly 3,000 LinkedIn connects.

Branding Quick Tips

  1. You ARE your brand.  
    • All social media platforms are branding opportunities. Not to be cliche, but everything is public. Every post affects your brand.
    • Make sure you are active on LinkedIn and connecting with professionals.
    • A successful brand creates a powerful network.
  2.  Consistency is key. 
    • Take the time to organize your goals.
    • It’s important that a professional’s title is consistent. For example, what do you want to be known as first, a blogger or PR professional? Neither choice is wrong.
    • Find an aesthetic (fonts, color schemes, and designs) that you like and stick to it!
  3. Building a brand takes time.
    • A #GirlBoss can never dream too big. Create a dream board to organize your branding goals.
    • Every brand is unique so not all tactics will work. Don’t get discouraged by low profile traffic. Switch up your media strategy and try again.
    • Quality over quantity. Take your time to create original content.

 

Stay updated on  Kate Marlys and her team by following Philly PR Girl on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! What tips post do you want to see next?