100 Tips & Tools to Build Your Brand While You’re Still in School

Posted August 12, 2009

By Donna Scott As an online student, you have a unique opportunity to work on building your brand before you’ve even graduated. Using online tools and more, you can get established early on, so you’ll have a wealth of opportunities and resources available to you when you’re ready to take advantage of them. Read on, and you’ll find 100 tips and tools that can help you build your brand in school no matter where you are- Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio – doesn’t matter. Development These tips will help you get your brand developed.

  1. Learn about yourself: Take the time to examine yourself and what your values are.
  2. Work for free: Gain great experience you can put to work later by working for free.
  3. Think about your name: If you have a common or badly associated name, you may want to consider using a unique variation of your name.
  4. Gain experience: Get a job while still in school to help develop your brand.
  5. Be distinctive: Do something different, so you’ll stand out among the rest.
  6. Develop strong self esteem: Make sure that you’re projecting confidence in yourself and your brand.
  7. Stay active: Make sure you’re always in the job market-you will appear more valuable if you’re constantly in work.
  8. Define and discuss your personal values: With a sense of what’s important to your public personal values, you can define and share your brand.
  9. Complete additional education or training: Even though you’re still in school, there’s always room to think about more learning to gain experience.
  10. Determine your expertise: Find your expertise, and establish yourself as the authority on that topic.
  11. Highlight your accomplishments: Share your awards, credentials, qualifications, and any other important achievements that are related to your brand.
  12. Determine your benefits: Define what your personal benefits are and share them.
  13. Stay true to yourself: In defining your brand, make sure that you avoid trying to be something you’re not.
  14. Be specific: Make your brand tie in closely to your niche or specialty.

Establishment & Accessibility Follow these tips for getting your brand noticed.

  1. Become an expert: Assert yourself as the go-to person for a specific subject or niche.
  2. Create your elevator speech: Perfect your elevator speech, so you’ll always be prepared to share your brand with anyone.
  3. Create an About page: Whether on your blog or website, be sure to put together a page that shares details about you and your personal brand.
  4. Create a business card: Put together a business card with your name and information on it, so you can connect with anyone you meet.
  5. Add value: Don’t just agree with other people you admire, bring something useful to the conversation.
  6. Write: Write articles that share and showcase your extensive knowledge in your niche.
  7. Put together your resume, cover letter, and references: Have these documents at the ready-you never know when there will be an opportunity you want to pounce on.
  8. Use an easy to remember and easy to spell domain name: Make it easy for you to be found with a simple domain name.
  9. Consider creating a personal logo: With a personal logo, you can be easily identifiable.
  10. Snatch up your name: Claim your identity on domains, Twitter, Facebook, and more.
  11. Speak publicly: Look for meetings and conferences where you can speak and share your knowledge, and establish yourself as an authority.
  12. Use a professional email address: Avoid embarrassing email addresses, opting for something like yourname@yourdomain.com to really stand out.
  13. Find a nice layout: Invest time, money, or both into creating a nice layout for your blog and/or website.
  14. Share your opinion: Give quotes to journalists and reporters.
  15. Build an online portfolio: No matter what you do, create an online space to show off your work and achievements.
  16. Participate in discussion forums: Become a part of important discussions on industry forums.
  17. Use your real name: Make yourself identifiable, and don’t your made up name.
  18. Create media that can be easily distributed: With podcasts, videos, and ebooks, you can spread your knowledge just about anywhere.
  19. Use a consistent avatar: Make it easy for people to recognize you by keeping the same avatar on a variety of different sites.
  20. Write a blog: Share your knowledge and thoughts in an easily updateable format by using a blog.
  21. Add your URL to everything: Whether it links back to your portfolio, blog, or website, add your URL to your business cards, emails, comments, and more.
  22. Discover important niche keywords: Find out what the essential keywords are in your niche, so you can be sure to use them and sound current.
  23. Frequently use social media: Get connected and noticed by becoming an active participant in social media.
  24. Get listed: Submit your URL to search engines and directories so you’ll be easy to find.
  25. Create relevant, keyword-rich content: Make use of keywords in your content to attract search engines and more.

Maintaining Put these tips to work when you’re maintaining your personal brand.

  1. Be consistent: When you present your brand, make sure that your materials and attitudes mesh well together.
  2. Be legitimate: Practice good ethics and maintain a good reputation.
  3. Google yourself: Find out what others are going to discover when they search for you on Google.
  4. Be human: Make sure you’re still the same person, and avoid playing a role.
  5. Update regularly: Create new content on a regular basis so you’re always fresh.
  6. Keep learning: Continually work to update your knowledge and skills.
  7. Refresh: Keep your brand up to date by making small updates when necessary.
  8. Bring everything back to your blog: Whatever you’re doing offline or online, make sure and discuss it on your blog.
  9. Look good: Your physical looks matter, but more importantly, make sure that your resume, website, and more reflect the branding you want to be associated with.
  10. Allow for growth: Your brand doesn’t have to be static; allow for it to change through time.
  11. Localize: Tailor your branding for specific regions.
  12. Be everywhere: Make sure your name, logo, slogan, and other important pieces are seen by as many eyeballs as possible.
  13. Pay attention to context: Market your brand where its value will be appreciated the most.

Relationships With these tips, you can build lasting relationships for your brand.

  1. Be engaging: Be someone that people want to be around.
  2. Be active: Stay active in your community so that you will be able to continually create relationships and stay fresh in your contacts’ minds.
  3. Make it easy to comment on your site: Encourage commenting and conversations by removing roadblocks.
  4. Be everywhere: Make your name ubiquitous, so people will hear it over and over and want to check you out.
  5. Perform maintenance on your friend list: Periodically clean up your friend list, removing people who are not active, or do not reciprocate.
  6. Participate in conversations: Share what you have to say with your community via online boards and discussion groups.
  7. Leave comments: Share comments on a variety of blogs that focus on topics that are relevant to you and your niche.
  8. Keep your network updated: Make sure your network knows about your most recent work and successes.
  9. Be people focused: Reach out and create relationships at the ground level.
  10. Stop lurking: If you’re going to invest time into reading conversations, become a part of them.
  11. Constantly build your network: Always be on the lookout for new contacts to share your network with.
  12. Be polite: Return phone calls, practice good manners, and always say thank you.
  13. Avoid being too defensive or confrontational: Keep things neutral to avoid damaging your reputation.
  14. Participate: Be a part of the community you want to be active in.
  15. Find out what others are doing right: See what successful people in your network and beyond are doing to nurture their personal brands.
  16. Always offer assistance: Help people in your industry, such as bloggers, Twitterers, and colleagues.
  17. Ask questions and get help: Don’t just give-ask for help and information in return. People often love to offer assistance.
  18. Become a part of professional associations: Meet people and work to build your network by becoming a part of professional organizations in your niche.
  19. Be generous: Always give back to charities and people who support you.
  20. Establish yourself with influencers: Connect with, support, and collaborate with influencers so they can help you build your brand.
  21. Use a wingman if you need to: Bring along a friend to help you get over shyness.
  22. Share references: Highlight references from people you’ve worked with, or clients that have nice things to say about you.
  23. Promote others more than yourself: Be generous with others, and they will promote you in return.
  24. Always be available: Whether you can speak personally or not, always have a place like Twitter, your blog, or Facebook, where people can go to learn about you.
  25. Practice reciprocity: Become a part of mutually beneficial school ventures.
  26. Have good friends: Keep good company, and you’ll find yourself with a better brand and more opportunities.
  27. Do your homework: Before events, check out recent blog posts, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages of the people you’re going to meet, and connect with them in a meaningful way.
  28. Give people what they want: Foster relationships by offering something of value.

Tools & Resources Put these tools and resources to work when building your brand.

  1. Build Your Own Life Brand: With this book, you’ll learn about strategies for enhancing your value and potential.
  2. Meetup: Meetup isn’t just a great place to get connected with others-you can get exposure as a sponsor as well.
  3. Technorati: With the help of Technorati, you can monitor your brand on the blogosphere.
  4. Ning: Join Ning networks to be a part of communities in your niche.
  5. Career Branding: What’s the Value of Your Personal Brand?: Take this quiz to find out how valuable your personal brand is.
  6. LinkedIn: With LinkedIn, you’ll be able to build your personal brand and get connected through the people you know.
  7. Google Alerts: Using Google Alerts, you can get updated whenever your name or brand is discussed online.
  8. Career Branding Tutorial: With the help of this tutorial, you can take your career to the next level.
  9. Twitter: Turn Twitter into your own live broadcast medium for your brand.
  10. Facebook: Facebook is a great tool for personal branding.
  11. Copyscape: Use Copyscape’s service to seek out plagiarism and protect your brand.
  12. Backtype: Backtype’s service will let you track posts and comments online.
  13. WordPress: WordPress makes it easy for you to create your own easily updateable blog.
  14. Yahoo! Site Explorer: You can find out who is linking to your site with this tool.
  15. FriendFeed: Get a FriendFeed account to share what you’re doing.
  16. Google Scholar: Make use of Google Scholar to find out who has cited your papers.
  17. YouTube: Establish yourself on YouTube to create a personal way for others to connect with you.
  18. Google Blogsearch: With the help of Google’s blog search, you can stay on top of your brand in blogs.
  19. Twitter Search: Monitor your name and brand’s discussions on Twitter by searching for them, or setting up alerts, on Twitter.
  20. Flickr: Share your photos on Flickr so people can get a look into your activities and what you look lik

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