We see them everyday… McDonalds, Apple, Mitsubishi. Brands are everywhere, some so renown, all we need to see is a symbol or slogan to innately recognize them. As a college graduate with a major in marketing I have long studied the significance and importance of building and maintaining a brand. But what I wasn’t exactly taught in school was how to build your own personal brand.
Riddle me this, what is the meaning of having a professional 9-5 job in which you live and breathe your organization’s brand, yet have no comprehension of your own? You may be thinking, “I must have some sort of brand if I aced the interview and got the job”. But let me ask you this… is your personal brand so strong that your friends and family can tell your story in just a few sentences?
Here is what I used to say when the question, “Tell me about yourself?” was asked: “I’m born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. I graduated from the University of Arizona and majored in Marketing. I now have three years of professional experience and am continuing my career at KQED as the Social Media and Digital Audiences Associate.” Okay… it’s not terrible, but it’s not fantastic either.
The aspect of personal branding and truly marketing yourself is an indispensable skill. A mentor of mine that I passionately respect and admire has a personal brand of her own and it goes something like this: She comes from a small Spanish village where she lived frugally, with an immense passion for interior design. She moved to the U.S. to begin her dream. Today, she is the Creative Chief Officer at one of the most prestigious interior design organizations in the world. She embodies her personal brand by branding herself in all black clothing while charming everyone she meets with her charisma, creative talent, and humble upbringing. Yes, this woman has years of experience, but that doesn't mean you too cannot start developing your personal brand as well.
Here is what I say when I’m asked this question now: “I am a true Bay Area native. Growing up in such an open and accepting culture has led me to where I am today. I left the Bay Area and headed to the University of Arizona to get some well-deserved heat and pursued my degree in Marketing. After three years of corporate careers and development I decided to venture off into the non-profit sector. I put my degree to use as the Social Media and Digital Audiences Associate at KQED. I aim to provide relevant resources to inspire my community to become all who they want to be through education and public media.” Can you differentiate the impact? I have designed my personal brand as someone who: is open-minded, competent with a degree/experience, and truly committed to improving my community.
I encourage all of you powerful women reading this, to develop a strong, impactful brand that creates an everlasting story that depicts the character you are. And remember to always be confident in who you are and to market all of the beautiful qualities that make you uniquely you.
Comment your best personal branding statement!
Three fun facts about Ashley:
1.) I have over 10 years of photography experience, check out my site: ashleyurdang.com
2.) I studied in Rome for over six months learning Italian along the way.
3.) I am a MAJOR foodie, and have food blog featuring Bay Area bites: www.wineaboutitsf.com.
You can follow Ashley on insta and check out her personal website.