By Kaley Consford
An important aspect of public relations is having your own personal brand that helps you stand out as an individual. At this week’s Texas State PRSSA meeting, previous PRSSA President and founder of the Student Event Planners Association (SEPA), Aubri Nowowiejski, spoke to our chapter about how to personally brand yourself and why having your own personal brand is a great advantage in the job market.
Nowowiejski has been extremely successful in her career by efficiently executing her personal brand. Not only did she finish college in three years, but she was also able to climb the corporate ladder within five years. She is now an influencer who speaks nationwide on how to be a successful event planner.
The presentation was prefaced with asking us to “challenge our thoughts and change our world.” Nowowiejski made it clear that changing your outlook on learning will greatly affect how your professional and individual growth. It is important to change your perspective. Instead of stating, “I already know this. This is not applicable to me.” We need to ask, “What could I learn from this?” and “How could this work for me?.”
Nowowiejski’s gave us her definition of what personal branding means. In her own words: personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands through self-packaging.
Your personal brand is how you walk, talk, what your wear and how you present yourself to the world. Nowowiejski made it clear that
“ We are all walking, talking, living, breathing billboards.”
Your personal branding is done through self-packaging your assets, and the best way to package yourself is to be well-rounded.
When explaining how to identify your unique brand, Nowowiejski emphasized that your brand is created by the perception of others. She challenged everyone to consider the following questions when establishing what your personal brand is:
- What do I want people to think about when they think about me?
- How would I like for people to describe me?
- What would I like for people to associate me with?
The questions above are meant to implement your thoughts into how you want people to perceive you, in order for it to be beneficial for your future career. After evaluating the answer to each question, Nowowiejski further challenged everyone to answer three more questions about themselves:
- What do people think about when they think about me?
- How would people describe me?
- What do people associate me with?
These questions are important to further our self-assessment. Nowowiejski explained that asking ourselves these questions allows us to determine where we want to be in the future and if we are in going in the right direction to get there.
Throughout the process of establishing your personal brand, there are many important points to keep in mind that will help you stay self-motivated. Nowowiejski reminded everyone that your brand would constantly evolve throughout your life, so it’s important to be comfortable with reinventing yourself to realign with your personal brand.
She also made it clear that there is no right or right wrong way to brand yourself. The most important thing to remember when creating your personal brand is to always be unapologetically authentic. A big part of being authentic is to be aware of your “influencers.” Do the people you associate yourself with inspire you to be better? Are they people you aspire to be someday? These are questions you need to ask yourself in order to further authenticate your personal brand and the person you would like to become.
Nowowiejski then summarized how to prioritize your personal branding and what steps you can take – right now – to improve it. She encouraged everyone to ask themselves “What are you doing currently to brand yourself?” and then to challenge that question by asking “What should you be doing to brand yourself?.”
Without even knowing it you have created a personal goals by simply asking yourself those couple of questions. Once you have identified your goals, you can figure out how to further evolve your brand. The following are tips she shared on how to get started on improving your brand:
- Stop using your school email address
- Invest in business cards
- Update email signature
- Link to a resource for additional info
- Research and share relevant content
Nowowiejski wrapped up her presentation by encouraging and inspiring everyone to become “the CEO of your own life.”
“Turn your elevator speech into your mission statement. By doing this you allow yourself to talk about your passion and about how you are going to achieve that passion.”
Lastly, she preached on how important it is to invest in yourself, “If you don’t invest in you, no one else will.”
Thank you to Aubri Nowowiejski for taking the time to share your personal branding wisdom with the Texas State PRSSA Chapter, it was truly an honor.