You are building your brand, your reputation. Don't leave it up to interpretation.
Greenwood Village, CO (PRWEB) August 15, 2013
This September, students around the country will be returning to the classroom and Reputation Management Specialist and Principal of LIDA360, Lida Citroen, wants to give them a few tips and reminders for personal branding and reputation management, specific to the college environment.
First, be careful what you post online. Yes, it’s been said many times before, but everything typed into a computer, tablet or smartphone is public, including SnapChats, Instagram pics and comments on Facebook. Students also need to be cautious about photos they are tagged in as well – just because someone likes wearing a shirt with a liquor company’s name on it doesn’t mean their future employer will.
“You are building your brand, your reputation. What others see about you online — the passions, interests, causes and issues you take up — reflect on your values and morals. Don’t leave it up to interpretation what you stand for and believe in. Be consistent and intentional,” Citroen says.
Learn from adults. Many students choose to engage in internships and community service projects as they learn more about their talents, goals and interests. In these roles, students interact with older people capable of teaching great things – about life, professionalism, vocation and work ethic. Are they acting a certain way that attracts opportunities and success to them? Find the adults who are doing things right and stay in contact with them.
Learn the art of networking. Become the person other people look up to and admire and who people want to be around. Learning the art and skill of networking allows students to create relationships that will provide many things after graduation: advocates to advise, guide and coach in their jobs; information sources to provide resources and insight to give a competitive advantage; and a supportive network of cheerleaders and advisors to lean on when needed most.
Citroen reminds students, “Those of us with big networks of contacts started small. We formed relationships with key people and made sure not to take more than we gave. Watch us and learn how networking can become an invaluable asset in your career toolkit.”
Portray the image you want. Students should dress, act and speak the way they want to be perceived. If seeking the reputation as someone who is credible, professional and trustworthy, then they should choose clothes and behavior that supports those qualities. If they want to be seen as a creative free spirit, then they should present themselves creatively in all situations.
“If you want to be seen as an expert or a leader someday, then start acting that way right now, while you’re still in school. Leaders motivate and inspire others; they draw out the best from the people around them,” Citroen says. “To be an expert, you need to learn everything you can in your field or area and be a valued resource in that area. If this is what you seek, then position yourself with your peers, professors, friends and community as the go-to resource.”
Lastly, commit to lifelong learning. The college years are about learning and exploring, but that shouldn’t stop after school. The job market is competitive in good economic times and in down markets, so it’s important for students to learn as much as they can about their field, their customers and audiences, so they can apply all of that knowledge to reinforce the values of their personal brand.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Citroen said. “We were all your age once — ready to take on the world but shaking inside at the mere thought. When those feelings hit, ask us for help, guidance and support. The bravest thing you can do is to identify your weaknesses and reach out for assistance to someone who is knowledgeable. This makes you stronger and more powerful than trying to go it alone.”
For more information, please visit the LIDA360 blog at http://UnleashingYourBrand.com/.
LIDA360 is a brand consultancy firm, based in Colorado. Principal Lida Citroën is an international personal branding and reputation management expert who designs and enhances the identities of companies, executives and individuals globally. Lida practices an integrated approach to branding, marketing and communications that enhances the total customer experience and reduces the investment for success.
The author of the book, "Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding," (Palisades Publishing, 2011), Lida is an accomplished speaker who engages audiences with her empowering message about managing your personal brand and reputation. Lida presents programs for corporations, conventions and non-profit organizations around the U.S. She can be reached at 800-314-5060 or http://www.LIDA360.com .