brandED: Presented by Nicole M. Maclean

Favorite2-215x300Nicole M. Maclean has always shown an interest in company brands and consumer’s behaviors and attitudes towards them. Taking this idea, she decided to look at her future goals and instead of branding an inanimate object, she decided to brand herself. She has spent the last year doing something that many professionals have a difficult time pursuing, and that is creating a personal brand. Personal branding consists of who you are, how others perceive you, your visibility to the public, and how you differentiate yourself from others.

One of the first steps she took in establishing her own brand was finding a mentor who had experience with creating their own personal brand. Along the way she found Jeffrey Cohen, who not only has his own successful brand, but also has industry experience with social media. After she found a mentor, she began doing personal research to see what personality traits stood out. When she distinguished these traits, she then conducted industry research. By accomplishing this, she was able to compare the two forms of research and extricate some of the common factors and interests.

Once she recognized some distinguishable characteristics, her next step was looking at social media and search engine optimization (SEO). SEO increases the visibility of a webpage in an unpaid search engine and ensures that people can find you. In Nicole’s instance, when somebody searched her name she was not found until the second page. In order to confront this issue, she found that making a cohesive domain name throughout all of her social media accounts would set her apart. One of the challenges she faced was not finding usernames that were available. She easily solved this problem by adding her middle initial. This simple correction now made her name recognizable and easily accessible, and as a result made it the first five names when you googled her name “Nicole M Maclean.”

Lastly, the thing that I found the most interesting was the signature colors and fonts. Who knew that these two simple things could make such a difference? Her main color scheme consisted of orange as a primary color and then navy blue, ivory, and gray as her accent colors. She has even incorporated her colors into her wardrobe when she is meeting with certain individuals. Her reasoning is that it brings a sense of confidence and comfort, and relating it to a “power suit.” Secondly, her extensive research on typology was something I found absolutely fascinating. I never knew there was a science behind how each letter is written and how it could relate to readability.

Overall, the concept of rebranding yourself is a decision that many people should consider. It sets you up for your future, and allows you to build networks and grow professionally. By combining your personality with a professional presence, you can begin to sound more like an industry leader. As Nicole said, “Post for the job you want!”

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