The importance of personal branding has been an increasingly popular topic over the past couple of years. We are attempting to be more and more intentional about how we look, act, and how to positively influence how others see us. I work in marketing – I get it. But when is it too much?
Sometimes we think too much. At least I do. Am I wearing the right clothes? Am I talking about the right things? Am I giving off a good first impression? And here’s what I think it comes down to: who cares?!
I cannot hide who I am. I’m tall. I’m blonde. I’ve got a knack for building social media engagement and brands. I’m loud when I’m nervous. I’m loud when I’m excited. I’m loud most of the time… I’m genuinely a happy person. I’m loyal. And I’m usually the first to trip or stumble – quite possibly one of the most physically awkward people you’ll meet (I’m trying yoga to work on this).
And here’s what it comes down to: I’m fine just the way I am.
The best advice I’ve been given by a mentor was, “don’t listen to everything I say. You have to filter everything out for yourself.” Sometimes we become so caught up in being intentional with our image that we end up losing the best parts of us – those quirks that define who we are. The women (and men) that I most admire are unapologetically themselves. They’re most impressive because they’re comfortable in their own skin – flaws and all.
The brands that do the best online are the ones that humbly acknowledge their strengths and have the ability to laugh about their weaknesses. It’s easier to appreciate someone (or something) that recognizes their imperfections and just rolls with it. Life is a lot easier when you can laugh at the toilet paper on your shoe rather than running off in embarrassment. Remember not to take life too seriously – no one gets out alive. (I also love cheesy clichés and jokes)
So here’s what it comes down to – just let go and wing it. If you want to wear a suit – wear a suit. Rock out jeans if that’s your thing. Don’t sign up for public speaking if it freaks you out. Send cards instead of calling if it makes you happier. Personal branding is about being intentional about the person that YOU want to be – not who you think everyone else wants you to be. Because let’s be honest, you’re probably pretty awesome with all those quirks.
Amy Jorgensen is the Senior Brand Manager of Digital Communications at the University of Michigan Health System