We live in a digital world. If something good or bad happens anywhere in the world, it is likely caught in a picture or more than likely on video. Messages spread faster than ever before. We receive messages consistently, whether it is an email, text messages, or social media, there is something always trying to grab your attention.
In a world where you are inundated with messages, how can you stand out among the crowd?
If you said branding, then you would be right!
We are used to seeing companies brand themselves. I am sure if you are an IDOL courses fan whether you follow the blog, Become an IDOL Podcast, or the Become an Instructional Designer and Online Learning Developer Facebook group, you recognize the green, yellow, pink, purple, and the fun logo.
But how do you create a personal brand?
Personal branding goes beyond your logo or color pallet. It goes beyond your portfolio and its design. I have been on a journey to identify my brand, so I started reading a Digital You by William Arruda, and I found it a fascinating read and informative.
Arruda wrote, “Personal branding is not about you. It’s about how you deliver value to others.” Creating your brand isn't bragging about or self-promotion, it's about the problems you can solve. It would be best if you positioned yourself as the guide whether you are interviewing for a new instructional design position, positioning yourself as a contractor, or working on a virtual team. In Donald Miller's Building a Storybrand, he explained we should use the hero's journey in developing your brand as a business. Reflecting on this book, I can see how it can also be applied in building your brand, especially since your brand should be about the value you provide.
Even before Covid-19, many employers began to embrace the idea of virtual workers. More people look to virtual work because they want control of when, where, and how they work. Covid-19 forced resistant companies to transition sooner, and many have found their workers are just as or more productive working from home. Virtual work can save business overhead cost on office space and decrease employee turnover.
Sometimes working virtually can feel isolating. You are not as connected with your coworkers. So, this means your work is graded on its quality, right? Arruda suggested, "virtual employees have to work harder to be relevant and remain top-of-mind." When you work remotely, you need to have initiative and work harder to show your relevance. You can use personal branding to overcome these issues by demonstrating your value.
Your personal brand should be focused. Arruda stated, “you need to build your brand around something – not a hundred things.” So many new instructional designers fall into what I call squirrel syndrome. They have a hard time focusing because there is so much to learn. When you are developing your brand, you need to identify the value you bring.
As an instructional designer, you need to keep up with changing technologies. Professional development is essential. You want to grow your skills as an educational professional. Technology allows us to create engaging learning, but it still needs to be completed with sound educational theories and development processes. Lifelong learning supports developing your digital dexterity.
Creating a personal brand is a significant undertaking. There is a lot to think about and consider. How do you want the world to see you? We will cover additional personal brand topics in our next installment of building your personal brand.
Tabatha is an EdTech entrepreneur, instructional designer, content writer, and educator dedicated to developing interactive and engaging learning ecosystems. She has a passion for gamification, learning experience design, and the integration of social learning to improve learner engagement and knowledge retention. Also, she is a respiratory therapist who hosts The Vent Room podcast providing a little inspiration to respiratory therapists.