by Sumer Sen
As students, it’s unsettling to see most aspects of our daily lives moving towards a digital format. Coupled with the most competitive job market ever, standing out in this unfamiliar environment has created new challenges, and new opportunities. If you’re a current student, you’ve probably already been told this is the best time to start building a personal brand. Let's go over what that is, how to build one, and how to sustain it!
So What’s a Personal Brand?
It’s essentially other people’s understanding of who you are, what you have to offer, and a roadmap of where you will go in the future. By building a brand, you’ll be able to create a strong network of like minded people, differentiate yourself from others (200,000 high school seniors graduated with a 4.0 GPA last year!), and get recognition from people such as college admissions officers, hiring managers, or your future co-founder!
Your brand should reflect your personal and professional identity, so a good place to start building one is by first understanding what motivates you and what you want to be known for. Are you a budding designer? Or maybe you’re obsessed with startups and growth marketing! Having a clear understanding of what gets you excited will make it easier to craft a compelling story and stay consistent.
So How do I Build One?
Consistently creating content is one of the best ways to start building your personal brand. Sharing your thoughts online can seem intimidating, but if you’re able to form your own unique opinions, there will definitely be an audience willing to hear your story. Below are some methods perfect for developing an audience.
Building a Personal Website
If you aren’t sure where to start, creating a personal website could be a fun weekend project that pays dividends in the long run. Websites are a dynamic information sharing tool that builds your credibility because they serve as a centralized place your network can go to keep up with your journey. Websites make you findable on the web and offer far more flexibility than a resume, which is key for standing out!
When building a personal website, try to include a bio about yourself, a portfolio of past projects/work, and some fun pictures! Websites are also a great gateway into your social media accounts, your blog, and any other past work you’ve done. Be as creative as you can, since your website is one of the best ways to showcase your true personality!
For students that are looking to get started with a simple inexpensive website, Jemi and Notion are great options. With drag and drop website builders like Jemi and Notion, you can build a website in minutes! When using these tools remember to convey your elevator pitch and store important assets such as links to past work, your resume, and more. Going one step further, tools like Jemi can be used to highlight your personality through imbedding things such as your past Tweets or your favorite song on Spotify/SoundCloud. For higher customizability, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, or Webflow are great alternatives.
Starting a Blog
Blogging is a great way to demonstrate expertise on a subject matter and establish yourself as a thought leader. While you may be a student, there's still a lot to learn from your personal experiences, anecdotes, opinions, and research. If your content resonates with your audience, you’ll be able to reach lots of new people through consumers interacting with your content across different platforms. By educating your audience consistently with new content, you can start to build your own community around your niche and eventually generate inbound opportunities. Make sure you stay consistent and genuine with writing, as it can take a while to build things such as strong SEO, visibility, and loyalty. Commonly used tools for writing include Medium, Ghost, WordPress, Substack, or even social sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
Starting a podcast is another great medium for students to build a personal brand due to its ease of consumption and intimacy. It’s completely up to you on how you want to host your podcast, as it's a space for you to find your voice and explain your story. If you are unsure about where to start, try interviewing an expert within your niche for some awesome content! Anchor is a great tool for creating and distributing your first podcast.
Social networks such as LinkedIn, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok are powerful tools for distributing content. As you continue to consistently post authentic curated content, you’ll start to see a community form around your niche. Make sure to engage regularly with the groups you want to be involved with! This could mean answering questions, jumping into discussions, and showing off your personality whenever you get the chance. It’s a good idea to experiment with new trends such as the rise of short form video. Whether you’re a designer on Dribbble or a programmer on Github, make sure you use these social networks to experiment with different forms of content and stay proactive!
How Do You Sustain Your Personal Brand?
Now that you’re creating content across different mediums, congrats! You’ll probably find that it's difficult to keep organized. To solve this problem we built Jemi to help smaller creators and students showcase all of their content in one place! Like mentioned before, Jemi is a drag and drop website builder that lets creators feature content such as links, music, and videos to create a centralized portfolio for all their work. By sharing your individualized Jemi link across the web, new audience members can access your content through a single click!
In addition to featuring your content seamlessly, Jemi also allows students to monetize their creativity and individuality. If you’ve built a website through Jemi, you can use the platform to monetize your following (all in one store, tips, memberships), and engage with your audience (CRM, paid messaging). We’re excited to see new grad creators continue to grow by showcasing all of their content in one place, as well as monetizing through Jemi’s all in one platform!
If you’re interested in more tips, feel free to check out our blog where we post more informational articles on how to earn money as a creator!
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions specific to the Jemi platform.